Can it really be a full decade since we first saw Darren Fletcher in a United shirt, arms pumping with characteristic high elbows and leggy lope carrying him to all four corners of the pitch?
Well, it is. And although his playing career is on hold for now, in commemoration of this milestone here are 10 matches that define Darren's career. Fletch, we salute you...
12.03.03 United 1-1 Basel, Champions League
Fletch’s senior debut and he was in from the start in the Champions League – no League Cup run-out or late sub appearance for the prodigious 19-year-old. Okay, it was a dead rubber with United already qualified for the quarter-finals, but this was still a fancy first feather in Fletcher’s cap. Wearing number 31 and stationed on the right of midfield, he looked in no way out of place for 73 minutes before David Beckham replaced him.
03.04.04 United 1-0 Arsenal, FA Cup semi-final (Villa Park)
The first time Fletch showed his ‘big-game player’ credentials. Pitched into a central midfield battle against Patrick Vieira and Arsene Wenger’s dominant Arsenal, Fletch showed no fear alongside Roy Keane and was instrumental in the victory. He had a hand in the goal, hurrying Vieira into a fluffed clearance, which led to Giggs picking out Scholes for the winner. It earned him a starting berth in the final against Millwall for his first major medal.
06.11.05 United 1-0 Chelsea, Premier League
A barnstorming display in another huge game; this time against Mourinho’s machine-like Chelsea, unbeaten in 40 league matches. Fletch was brilliant and even netted the winner with a far-post looping header. United had been poor in losing to Middlesbrough (4-1, ouch) and Lille in the previous two matches, leading to some heavy criticism and claims the empire was crumbling. When the pressure was on, the odds against, Fletch delivered.