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Ralph Milne, ex-Manchester United and Dundee United winger, dies at 54

Ralph Milne joined Manchester United in 1988.

Former Manchester United and Dundee United winger Ralph Milne has died from liver problems.

The 54-year-old was part of the most successful Dundee United side ever and scored the goal that won them their only Scottish Premier League title in 1983.

Milne also helped Dundee United reach the semifinals of the 1984 European Cup and the finals of both the Scottish Cup and the Scottish League Cup.

After spells at Charlton and Bristol City, Ferguson took him to Old Trafford for £175,000 in 1988 after he had been offered John Barnes, who instead joined Liverpool, by Watford manager Graham Taylor.

Ferguson wrote in his autobiography Managing My Life: "The fact is that Ralph was a hell of a winger in his days with Dundee United. Old Trafford was simply too much for him and he faded into the shadows.

"Meanwhile, John Barnes made us pay more than once on the field for missing the chance to grab him. I acknowledge my failure to [buy him] as a serious mistake."

Milne scored only three goals in 30 games for United while Barnes scored 108 goals in 407 games for Liverpool and was twice voted Footballer of the Year.

He was released by Ferguson in 1991 and suffered from alcoholism, giving a sense of unfulfilled potential that led Dundee United's most successful manager, Jim McLean, to call him "an outstanding failure."

McLean added: "He should have been playing in World Cups. He had tremendous talent -- and I failed with him."

But Milne, who remains Dundee United's record scorer in Europe and was given a place in their hall of fame in 2009, is remembered fondly at Tannadice Park.

Dundee United said in a statement: "Ralph can now take his seat in the main stand on high alongside other departed club legends."


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