Born in Ipswich. Raised in Johannesburg. Made in Manchester. That’s Gary Bailey for you. It’s been 23 years since he last played for United, but Bailey is every bit a Red now as he was when he was a Stretford End hero in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The double FA Cup winner has swapped shot-stopping for the studio as a renowned pundit on South African TV. We caught up with Gary to talk about his time at OT, the United players he thinks will do well in South Africa and why he holds Sir Alex in such high regard…
What makes the South African World Cup special?
It’s in a totally new continent for a start, and nobody has seen anything quite South Africa for a World Cup before. It’s a completely different vibe. It’s not like Europe or America. Three things make it very different: the vuvuzela – the noisy trumpets; the makarapa, which is a colourful, decorated miner’s helmet; and Diski dancing, which is what the fans over here do. Plus it’s a totally different part of the world with nature reserves and so on.
Beyond Wayne Rooney, which United players will make the biggest impression?
Patrice Evra could have a big summer. France have looked like they’re in a bit of disarray, but they’ve got some big players and that could change very easily. They can rally together through adversity. United have done that under Sir Alex in the past, and it would be a mistake to write off France, and Evra – now as captain - could do very well. The English lads could go far. Wayne and Michael Carrick can have brilliant