Chris Smalling is hugged by John O'Shea as Darron Gibson looks on.

Smalling gives full credit to Sheasy

Friday 03 May 2019 11:15

Chris Smalling believes John O'Shea's professionalism, and the way he conducts himself off the pitch, helped him enjoy such a lengthy career in the game.

The Manchester United centre-back played alongside O'Shea 18 times before the ex-Republic of Ireland international moved to Sunderland in 2011, with the last occasion being the Champions League semi-final second-leg victory over Schalke. 

'Sheasy' said he was calling time on his playing days this week as his current club Reading end their campaign this weekend against Birmingham City.

Smalling in training with O'Shea during their time together at United.

"He was one of the guys who really helped me when I came to United," Smalling told us. "I was blessed to have Rio [Ferdinand], Vida [Nemanja Vidic], Sheasy and Jonny [Evans]. All experienced players when I came here.

"'Sheasy' was one of the nicest of them all. He could play in any position and was such a loyal servant here as well.

"The fact is how well he treated himself off the pitch as well. Full credit to him that he has only just retired now, at 38 wasn't it? Oh yes, on his birthday!

"So it's full credit to how he treats himself that he has been able to have such a great career and prolong it as long as he has."

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