And that came straight from the horses mouth. Red Nev was never the most pretentious footballer during his 20 year career with Manchester United and England. He always knew his limitations but sheer determination, undiminished will to win and a good old fashioned work ethic provided a career which genuinely earned him the often overused term of a legend. In an exclusive wide ranging interview with the clubs Inside United magazine last week, Neville was asked to sum up his career in one sentence – his prompt reply was a simple “I did my best”, a typical, understated response from a man who never held any airs and graces about himself. Neville also remembers his many career highs in a fascinating one on one interview.
If previous meetings between Manchester United and West Ham are any indication, there should be plenty of goals put away on Saturday. The two clubs have often turned on the entertainment with scorelines of 5-3 at Upton Park and 6-0 at Old Trafford but the 7-1 on the first April Fools day of the ‘noughties’ stands out as the biggest defeat the Hammers ever suffered at the hands of United. One of the highlights was Paul Scholes’ first hat trick for the club but a young Rio Ferdinand lining up in the West Ham defence must have wondered what hit him. Perhaps the biggest sympathy must go to Hammers goalkeeper Craig Forrest who was on the receiving end of the heaviest Premiership defeat in history when Ipswich went down 9-0 to United five years earlier.
Any Manchester United fan over the age of 25 is bound to have fond memories of the man who was an ever present in the team which brought the first League title back to Old Trafford since 1967 in the inaugural 1992-93 Premier League campaign. Brian McClair appeared in all 42 matches, hitting the net nine times in that drought breaking season. The man who became affectionally known as ‘Choccy’ to his many fans went on to collect a haul of 4 Premier League, 3 FA Cup, 5 Charity Shield, a League Cup and a European Cup Winners Cup winning medals in his eleven seasons as a red.