Former Manchester United footballer Gary Neville remembers how he debuted for the Red Devils without touching the ball with his feet.
Former English defender Gary Neville started in the Manchester United youth system in 1991, but the next year he debuted for the Red Devils.
The right-back spent all his career at United, from 1992 to 2011, playing 400 games and scoring five goals in the process.
Now the former Valencia manager talked about the time he debuted with his team, without even touching the ball.
“I’ve never been a crier. There’s a lot of emotion in playing for Manchester United, but I never cried, either over winning or losing,” he told the club’s official website.
“There are three moments, though, that got me to the point of almost being emotional: Barcelona. Getting the contract, at 14, that said I was going to get a chance. Making my debut.”
“That last one, thinking, ‘I’ve played for United.’ It was a massive moment for me. It feels such a long time ago. Well, it is a long time ago. Over 25 years,” he explained.
“And it was a throw-in. My debut was a throw-in against Torpedo Moscow. That was it. I didn’t touch the ball with my feet. I don’t know if that was the only time that’s ever happened. It typified my career, actually!”
The game was played in September 1992 in the UEFA Cup.
“I remember the little things about the day. What sticks out most is that it was the first time I’d ever stayed in a hotel before a first-team game. My dad dropped me off at lunchtime and we stayed at the Midland Hotel,” he continued.
“In those days, probably until I was 23 or 24 at United, we shared rooms. Chris Casper was in the squad too and I shared with him. I’d shared with Cas in the youth team squads, but when we got in this room, I was like: ‘Cas, this is unbelievable. We’re in the Midland Hotel!'”
“We went down for lunch and all this incredible food was laid out for us in a buffet. We were used to the food at The Cliff. On a Friday, Theresa who ran the canteen would put on sausage, chips, and beans. Thursday was cheese flan,” he said.
“If the A-team had Morecambe away on a Friday night, Eric Harrison would make you put your chippy order in before the game! It was the most amazing thing. You knew that if you won, your chippy afterward would taste so sweet.”