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Jim Ryan's United carerer:
1965/66: 4 apps, 1 gl
1966/67: 5 (1) apps, 0 gls
1967/68: 8 (1) apps, 2 gls
1968/69: 7 apps, 0 gls
1969/70: 0 (1) apps, 0 gls

Read an interview with Jim Ryan in July's Inside United
12/06/2012 11:16, Report by Steve Bartram
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My playing days: Jim Ryan

very exciting experience but also very moving. It was the completion of something, coming 10 years after the crash.

I left United when…
I wasn’t in the first team very often, I made 27 appearances and I needed to get on with my career. It was still a big wrench, of course. Luton came in for myself and Don Givens, who had also played in the Reserves a lot, and we went down to see them. We both liked it and signed on together in 1970.

I returned to United when…
I left Luton in 1975 to play in America with Dallas. I stayed in America for eight years; when I came back, I took the Reserve team manager’s job at Luton Town. I had six very good years there and was promoted to manager in 1990. Like all managers, I got the sack after a couple of years! Out of the blue, maybe a month later [in 1991], I got a call from Sir Alex asking if I’d like to be interviewed for the Reserve team coach’s job at United.

Best players I’ve worked with
I’ve always liked the way Paul Scholes plays. There have been so many – David Beckham is a very skilful player, Nicky Butt was under-rated, but I like the Scholes type of footballer. It’s his brain that’s working, much more than his body.

What United means to me
In my village, a group of us all joined the Boys’ Brigade to play for the football team and we had a whip-round to buy new strips. Everyone else wanted Rangers strips, but the shop had run out and only had one in our price range and that was United’s. I was elated because I thought we’d be playing the kind of football the Busby Babes were famous for! Maybe it was a signal, because I spent almost seven years here as a player and now 20 years as a coach, so it’s a massive part of my life. I’m very lucky because they’ve always won trophies during my time here, and I’ve been to every European Cup final the club has played in! It completely envelops your life.

More: Jim Ryan moves into retirement | Ryan reflects on changing times

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