In part two of Gary Neville's interview with MUTV, he looks back with pride at how his Old Trafford career panned out...
When you joined United, the club you'd always supported, could you have imagined playing 600 games here?
No. When I joined the club I would genuinely have been happy with ten games for United. If you’d said to me then that I’d play 600 games, I'd have said, ‘absolutely no chance’. I don’t think many people at the club would have said it when I first joined. I’d been a centre of excellence kid since I was 11 and saw the talent of the players like Ben Thornley, David Beckham, Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs, Nicky Butt, my brother, Chris Casper, Keith Gillespie – these were incredibly talented people. I looked around me and thought, ‘I’m not sure I’m as good as some of these lads’. I knew I wasn’t. But we got swept along together. We all believed in it, we were all passionate about playing for United, we all desperately wanted to do it and we listened to the coaches.
We had great coaches in Eric Harrison, Nobby Stiles and Brian Kidd. We’re forever in their debt. They guided us and we just went off and did what they told us to do. We believed in the principles they instilled in us. Then ultimately the manager, who had come down six or seven years before, had a mission to bring young players through. He gave us the opportunity. You could never imagine all those things were going to come together at once and your would evolve. But it does, and when you’re in it you think it’s going to go on forever. You love it, it’s brilliant, you have your ups and downs, but it’s just a great time and the experience I’ve had has been unbelievable. The best of that is probably the relationship with people I’ve had here, the great friendships I have just going into work every day. A lot of people work in this country and don’t enjoy their jobs; I’m lucky that I’ve absolutely adored everything I’ve done for 20 years. I’m just fortunate and privileged to have been in that position.
Were you aware that the 'Class of 92' was a special group of players?
Not when we were 16 or 17. When we got to 18, there were a couple of indications. Bryan Robson did an article publicly saying he’d be amazed if we didn’t become top players. Then the boss gave us our debuts and put us in with the first team, travelling on European away trips to get experience with them. Eric Harrison said to us that we had a chance and you get confidence from that. The ultimate confidence