The former Manchester United frontman Andy Cole is the latest guest on the UTD Podcast, released today (Monday).
In an illuminating episode, Cole – who sits 17th in the club’s all-time goalscoring chart, having plundered 121 goals between joining in 1995 and leaving six years later – reminisces over his trophy-laden spell with the Reds.
The Nottingham-born former forward, who turns 49 on Thursday, touches upon that legendary Treble-winning season and his partnership with Dwight Yorke, as well as recalling the circumstances behind his move to Old Trafford from Newcastle.
However, he also talks in-depth about his post-footballing life, in particular the illness which has so troubled him in recent years.
‘I enjoy that Barcelona goal more and more!’Video
“I felt ill five years ago. I have been retired for 12 years now,” Cole told us.
“My kidney basically packed up on me. I was in Vietnam for the club, came back, got home and felt a little bit tired. I thought it was only jetlag, so I had a couple of paracetamols and went to bed. Tomorrow’s a new day.
“The day after, I started putting on weight and the weight was ‘rapido weight’. I was saying “it’s nothing”. I remember my ex saying to me “you’ve put on weight” and I was like “nah, nah that’s nonsense, absolute nonsense.” But the weight became more and more so I called [United doctor Mike Stone], who came around.
“He looked at me and said “okay, I’m going to get you to run some tests.” So I went, I think it was a Saturday. He called me first thing Monday morning and he had something going on in his voice.
“”You need to get to hospital, quickly, they’re waiting for you.””
Cole would later require a kidney transplant, a subject he’s previously discussed in a number of emotional interviews.
His subsequent health issues have strengthened Cole’s resolve – initially fostered on the pitch – to never stop fighting. Video
Coley opens up on how his kidney issues were discovered.
“I know no better,” he added.
“I had a conversation with my mum, my mum always says “whatever you do, you don’t quit.” You can take it from what it is.
“No days are going to be the same, there are going to be tough days but if you quit…
“That’s the easy thing to do, you got to keep your head down and work.”