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Friday, 20 April, 2001, 10:24 GMT 11:24 UK
The biggest football sting in history
Karl Power takes his place alongside the rest of the United team
Power makes his entrance - to United's amazement
The man who conned his way on to Manchester United's official team photo says the daring stunt was planned two years ago.

And Karl Power, from Droylsden in Greater Manchester, reckoned: "It must be the biggest and best football sting of all time."

We were planning to do it for this year's final in Milan but we doubted United would get there
  Karl Power

Power stunned the United players prior to their Champions League clash against Bayern Munich by strolling on to the pitch and posing for a pre-match photograph.

Millions watching on television were also amazed and, after catching their breath, were keen to find out just who the impostor was.

After a massive manhunt, Power was unveiled.

And the unemployed labourer, who planned the stunt as a tribute to Old Trafford legend Eric Cantona, was clearly delighted with his amazing achievement.

"Men and my mates have been doing things like this for years - but this was the best," Power told The Sun.

Roy Keane (far right) sees Power make his entrance
Keane spots Power as he gatecrashes the official team photo
"We've videoed players in hotels and got ourselves into official press conferences before all the biggest games in Europe.

"It was during a match against in Barcelona in Spain that we first hatched the plot. We got onto the pitch and it was so easy we thought we could go one better.

"We were planning to do it for this year's final in Milan but we doubted United would get there.

"So we knew it was Munich or bust. We planned it like a military campaign and brought three United kits with us - red, white and blue.

"Then we found out where the team were staying and got one of the directors to tell us what colour they'd be wearing.

"We then went back and rehearsed it all in our hotel room. We got a taxi to the ground pretended we were with a TV crew, and the gatemen let us in.

When the teams walked out, I went to the players' entrance and knew nothing was going to stop me
  Karl Power
"We managed to get down to pitchside and waited for the players to come out of the tunnel

"Then with 20 minutes till kick-off, we saw an opening where there were no stewards and a couple of us walked all the way round the running track and ended up behind the goal.

"We sat with the photographers watching the warm-up. Then, when the teams walked out, I went to the players' entrance and knew nothing was going to stop me."

Gary Neville almost ruined the stunt by attempting to point Power out, but the 33-year-old United fan stayed put as the photographers snapped away.

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