Manchester United’s number 7 jersey has a storied history dating back to the 1950s. It has been worn by some of the club’s greatest players, including George Best, Bryan Robson, Eric Cantona, and David Beckham. But before Cristiano Ronaldo made it his own, several other talented players graced the number 7 shirt at Old Trafford. In this article, we take a closer look at some of the footballers who wore Manchester United’s number 7 jersey before Ronaldo.
1. George Best
George Best is a legendary figure in the history of Manchester United and was the first player to wear the number 7 jersey for the club. The Northern Irishman was a sublime talent who possessed remarkable skill and finesse. Best wore the number 7 shirt from 1963 to 1974 and helped United secure two league titles and the European Cup in 1968.
2. Steve Coppell
Coppell, a winger, took over the number 7 shirt after Best’s departure for North America in 1974. Coppell was a hardworking player known for his defensive awareness and stamina. He wore the number 7 jersey from 1976 to 1983 and was part of the 1977 FA Cup-winning team.
3. Bryan Robson
Bryan Robson was a versatile midfielder who wore the number 7 shirt for the Red Devils throughout the 1980s. The former England international was a tenacious player who contributed significantly to United’s success, winning two Premier League titles, three FA Cups, and the European Cup Winners’ Cup. Robson’s never-say-die attitude made him a favourite among United fans, and he remains an iconic figure in the club’s history.
4. Eric Cantona
Eric Cantona is one of the most charismatic players to have ever played for Manchester United. The Frenchman took over the number 7 shirt in 1992 after joining the club from Leeds United, and he quickly made an impact. His skill, vision, and attacking prowess helped United win four Premier League titles and two FA Cups. Cantona also scored some of the most memorable goals in United’s history, including the winner in the 1996 FA Cup final against Liverpool.
5. David Beckham
David Beckham inherited the number 7 shirt from Cantona after the Frenchman’s retirement in 1997. Beckham was a talented midfielder known for his exquisite passing, crossing, and set-piece ability. He helped United win six Premier League titles and the Champions League in 1999 before leaving for Real Madrid in 2003. Beckham’s legacy at Old Trafford is secure, and he remains one of United’s most recognisable former players.
Manchester United’s number 7 jersey is an iconic symbol of the club’s history, and the players who have worn it form a who’s who of footballing greats. Before Cristiano Ronaldo took over the shirt, George Best, Steve Coppell, Bryan Robson, Eric Cantona, and David Beckham had all made it their own. These players helped define United’s identity over the years and inspire generations of fans to come. While Ronaldo’s tenure in the number 7 shirt is unforgettable, the legacy of these greats should never be forgotten.