Eric Cantona hilariously reveals his biggest regret about kung-fu-kick on Crystal Palace fan


Eric Cantona was not only an iconic figure for Manchester United during the 90s - helping them to win back-to-back league titles - but a big character, also.

The former France international enjoyed a successful career at Old Trafford between 1992 and 1997 - when he called an end to his 14-year playing career which began with French club Auxerre back in 1983.

During that time under the management of Sir Alex Ferguson, the forward won the Premier League on five occasions, plus the FA Cup twice and was named the PFA Player of the Year in 1994.


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But while the Frenchman's performances helped to inspire the Red Devils during a golden period of their history, one moment will live in the memory, with not only United supporters but, of football fans right across England for many years to come.

It's been over 22 years since Cantona famously kung-fu-kicked Crystal Palace fan Richard Simmons after being sent off at Selhurst Park, having accused the Palace supporter of shouting racial abuse at him and throwing a missile in his direction as he left the pitch.

As a consequence, the former France star was fined £20,000, banned from playing for nine months and stripped of his captaincy for France while also losing his place in Les Bleus' team.

But despite the shocking incident which clearly left football fans stunned, the 50-year-old produced a rather surprising response to the incident during a recent Q&A with Manchester United supporters.

Cantona reveals kung-fu-kick regret

Per the Mirror, Cantona said: “I’ve said before I should have kicked him harder but maybe tomorrow I’ll say something else."

The Frenchman, as can be seen in the video below, clearly catches stewards, police and fans out by making a sudden charge towards one fan in particular before kicking him in the chest with both feet.

But the United star was not finished there and continued to throw a few punches before stewards and police managed to get him under control and calm him down before guiding him down the tunnel.

“I cannot regret it. It was a great feeling. I learned from it — I think he (Simmons) learned too." Cantona added.

“Nine months was a long time out and I struggled for a time but thanks to Ferguson we won the Double with a new generation."

Passion problematic for Cantona

Ironically, given the incident back in 1995, Cantona has also claimed that the reason for deciding aged 30 was he had lost his "passion" for the game. Although, based on that afternoon at Selhurst Park two years prior, that appeared not to be the case.

Eric Cantona

The Frenchman's assault of one fan wasn't a freak incident, though. During his time at Auxerre in 1987 he gave his own team's goalkeeper a black eye while being suspended after kicking a ball into the crowd and throwing his shirt at the referee after being substituted by Marseille.

However, despite some of the negative incidents surrounding Cantona's career, it was that passion that saw him become an iconic feature at one of the most iconic clubs in world football.

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