Q&A: Dwight Yorke

Grant Wahl
Date Published: 
Sports Illustrated

The hottest striker in the world this year has been Manchester United's Dwight Yorke. During United's glorious run to the English Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League titles—the Treble, as they're known in Britain—last month, he was the leading scorer in Premier (18 goals) and Champions (eight) play. SI caught up with Yorke last week.

SI: The last time I saw you was a year ago at a U.S. Soccer party at the All-Star Cafe in New York City. The bouncer wouldn't let you in, and when I told him you were one of the best players in the world, he shook his head and said, This guy has been trying to get in all night."

Yorke: I was in the city and thought I'd be courteous and show my face at the party. But it wasn't a problem because I shouldn't have been gate-crashing like that.

SI: Come on. They let me into that party.

Yorke: The guy said if you're not a guest, you can't get in. So I said, "That's cool. I'll just sit downstairs and have a drink."

SI: If you could pick one moment in the past month to tell your grandchildren about, what would it be?

Yorke: I suppose I'd want to tell them the whole story, but if there's one thing, it would be the celebration at the end of it all and seeing how the guys were crying on the other team. There was such a passion and such a joy in me, but there was a bit of sadness to see the looks on their faces. That would have been us if we had lost.

SI: You and AC Milan's George Weah [a native of Liberia] are similar in that you're both world-class players who have never had a chance to play in the World Cup. Do you ever wish you'd been born in a country bigger than Trinidad and Tobago?

Yorke: Sometimes you think it would be nice to play for England or whomever, but when you come from such a small country it inspires the kids back there. If I can make it, they think they can as well. That's the one satisfaction I get out of it.

SI: For as often as you score, you need to come up with some better goal celebrations.

Yorke: My celebration is when it goes into the net, and I'll sort of run to the corner flag and drop and spin. That's enough for me. I'm not someone who can do three somersaults with a split in between. That's not my style.

SI: What's the strangest thing that has happened since you won the Treble?

Yorke: Well, I don't smoke, but it's a once-in-a-lifetime thing when you win the Treble. So I thought I'd like a cigar at the hotel afterward, but I tried and I just couldn't smoke the thing.