The story of a phenomenon - Fitness, by Tony strudwick
Every now and again an athlete pushes the boundaries in their sport and, for me, Ryan has done that in football. There are a number of reasons for that. Genetically he's very gifted; his light frame allowed him to play on this long, but aside from that he has incredible resilience physically and mentally.
If you asked me to pick one standout feature it would be his mental resilience. To have remained playing in this sport for well over 20 years, playing at the top of your game, is astonishing. It takes an extremely high level of professionalism, dedication and sacrifice and he deserves great credit for that.
Aside from being a unique athletic specimen, Ryan has always had that hunger for success. Sir Alex used to say each year you have to pick yourself up, go again and be hungry to achieve more. Ryan has proved to be a shining example of that. Year on year he has come back more determined than ever. Even at 40 he trained at the same level as the other players, albeit with a slightly tailored programme. It's been more about us managing him than him managing himself because he always wanted to do more!
He's a great person with real humility and it's been an absolute pleasure to work with him for so long. You want people like Ryan in your dressing room; always keen to drive standards up. That is something he has done consistently throughout his career.