Darren Fletcher is a player for the big occasion. While other men might shirk from the responsibility presented to them in the heat of battle, the Scot thrives in such encounters.
This attitude has been displayed on many occasions but, unfortunately, his Champions League final jinx struck again in 2011 when he was still not 100 percent fit after battling against a chronic bowel condition. An unused substitute on the biggest club stage for the second time, he missed out on Rome all together in 2009 due to suspension after a ridiculously harsh sending off in the semi-final against Arsenal.
With his indefatigable running, hassling, closing down and tackling, it's little wonder he is so important to Sir Alex Ferguson's plans when available for selection. However, in terms of recognition for his exertions and qualities, Fletcher's United career has been a slow burner. It is only with age, and with an ever-growing list of outstanding performances, that he has received due credit.
His life as a Red almost got off to fairytale start when in May 2000, Fletcher was set to be included in the squad for the league trip to Villa Park, but FA rules – and his schoolboy status – denied him the chance. He joined United officially as a