WHEN Gordon McQueen followed Joe Jordan across the Pennines from Elland Road to Old Trafford in February, 1978, Manchester United believed they were close to ending their decadelong quest for the League Championship.

In their Leeds United days the two Scots were formidable footballers, fearless fighters and fearsome adversaries.

And, for a total investment of £850,000, Dave Sexton had given the spine of his team - Jordan at centreforward, McQueen at centre-back - a strength, solidity and a quality that could deliver the title for the first time since 1967.

That neither the charmless Sexton nor his charismatic successor Ron Atkinson was able to win the old First Division was no reflection on either McQueen or Jordan, who were both towering figures in the game.

I’m prompted to reminisce by the news that McQueen, now aged 59, has been diagnosed with cancer of the larynx.

It must have been devastating news for the big man but I’m sure he will take comfort and encouragement from the knowledge that his old United team-mate Bryan Robson beat the Big C recently and that advances in medical science point to a positive prognosis.

Remembering McQueen’s powerful performances for club and country, I’m sure he will tackle this latest challenge with the same determination and willto- win that were qualities he had in abundance.

I wish him well.