Denis Irwin is proud of the fact that Manchester United’s Treble-winning exploits are yet to be replicated by another English club, with the Red Devils retaining their place in the history books.
Back on May 26, 1999, Sir Alex Ferguson saw his side put the finishing touches to the most memorable of seasons.
The Red Devils were accustomed to lifting the English top-flight title, while domestic cup success was also commonplace during an era of unprecedented success.
Ferguson had, however, waited a long time to conquer the continent and delivered a second European Cup win for United – their first since 1968 – in the most dramatic of fashions.
Trailing Bayern Munich 1-0 heading into stoppage-time, Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer turned a remarkable tie on its head at Barcelona’s Camp Nou.
A third addition was made to United’s trophy cabinet in the space of a few short weeks, with no team having been able to match those achievements before or since.
Irwin, who spent 12 memorable years at Old Trafford in his playing days, told The Mirror of his pride at completing an historic haul of silverware: “When we won it, I think it was a relief, because we’d been trying for four or five years.
“In 1999 we’d gone through a tough group stage and really tough quarter-finals and semi-finals against Inter and Juventus.
“In the final we came up against a great Bayern side. We didn’t play well but battled away and got the luck we deserved.
“It was an incredible 10 days, winning the Premier League, the FA Cup and then finishing off with the Champions League.
“Will it ever be done again? Every now and again someone comes close, and I think that shows how hard it is to win them all in one season. I’m just glad we’ve still got that honour.”
United certainly did things the hard way when it came to completing their Treble, with a stunning finish in Catalunya achieved by a side that had lost talismanic midfielders Paul Scholes and Roy Keane to suspension.
Irwin added: “That night we were missing our two best players in Keano and Scholesy.
“That was a huge handicap for us. You’re missing your driving force, your cleaner-upper in midfield, in Roy, and Scholesy was the perfect team-mate, who could create and score.
“So the manager had to re-jig the whole team, and we didn’t know what the side would be.
“Teddy played really well when he came on in the FA Cup final, and had a chance of playing. David May played in that final too and had a chance of starting, with Ronny Johnsen going into midfield.
“So the manager had a dilemma, but it worked out in the end, moving Becks into the middle, bringing Nicky Butt in, putting Jesper Blomqvist on the left and Giggsy on the right.
“But it was pure desire and drive that got us there – and we knew we could score.
“It was a great night with a great group of lads, and a huge squad effort the whole season. You don’t just need a fantastic side, you need a really good back-up as well, which is what got us over the line.”