FA Cup legends: Current Reds capable of glory

Friday 24 May 2024 17:30

Four players who have helped Manchester United win at least one of the club's 12 FA Cups have been sharing their expert opinions ahead of Saturday's Wembley final.

Steve Bruce, Nicky Butt, Andy Cole and David May, who were all team-mates during the 1990s, know exactly what it takes to experience glory in world football's oldest knockout competition.

They were therefore well-qualified to comment on the current team's chances of success at the national stadium this Saturday, when asked to do so during a recent fund-raising golf day for Manchester United Foundation.

Below, you can read the decorated quartet's quotes and learn about their roles in the club's FA Cup-winning history...

FA Cup winner 1990, 1994, 1996

The December 1987 signing from Norwich City helped United win the FA Cup three times in his nine seasons at the club, albeit without being involved in the 1996 final due to injury. In both 1990 (including the replay) and 1994, Bruce played the full 90 minutes at centre-back alongside Gary Pallister and he proudly lifted the trophy as captain in the latter, when the Reds completed our first League and FA Cup Double.

Bruce on the 2024 final: "We're all saying the same thing. It's an FA Cup final. It's a one-off. They're capable. We know the players are capable of producing a performance. We saw that against Liverpool. You never know, so let's hope we can produce a big, big performance."
FA Cup winner 1996, 1999

A member of our famous 1992 FA Youth Cup-winning side, the Gorton-born midfielder got his hands on the senior equivalent just four years later, when he partnered Roy Keane in central midfield throughout our 1-0 triumph over Liverpool. That impressive career progression is something that Alejandro Garnacho and Kobbie Mainoo will achieve in half the timespan if they help the Reds to beat the Blues at Wembley. Nicky was a contributor en route to the 1999 final but was rested from the showpiece itself, to keep him fresh for the Champions League final that Keane was suspended for.

Butt on the 2024 final: "They have to believe they can go out there and do it. The fans will be right behind them. The atmosphere will be amazing, I imagine. Something can change in the first 10 minutes. Get an early goal and the whole game has a different outlook. But it's going to be tough and I wouldn't like to predict it."
Liverpool 0 United 1 Video

Liverpool 0 United 1

Full 90 | Watch every kick from the 1996 FA Cup final between United and Liverpool at Wembley…

FA Cup winner 1996, 1999

Signed in a sensational transfer from Newcastle United in January 1995, Cole experienced the pain of losing a final at Wembley at the end of that first season, 0-1 to Everton, before he experienced the joy of winning one 12 months later. He played the first hour against Liverpool in 1996, as a strike partner to the eventual match-winner Eric Cantona, and the same again in 1999, when Andy started our triumph over his former club Newcastle.

Cole on the 2024 final: "Growing up as a kid, the FA Cup was always special. To have the opportunity to play in it, and to win it, was a very special moment. The FA Cup is very, very romantic. They go into this FA Cup final revitalised [after the last two wins] so fingers crossed."
Newcastle 0 United 2 Video

Newcastle 0 United 2

90 in 20 | Watch the extended highlights of our 1999 FA Cup final against Newcastle United at the old Wembley Stadium...

FA Cup winner 1996, 1999

Pictured above with Reds goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel, May was phased into the United side as Bruce's replacement during 1995/96. In the FA Cup final, he helped to keep Liverpool's prolific forwards Robbie Fowler and Stan Collymore at bay, giving Cantona a platform to seal the 1-0 win with his late strike. 'Maysie' had a similar brief three years later when Alan Shearer was spearheading the Newcastle attack; again a clean sheet was kept as the Reds ran out 2-0 victors en route to the glorious Treble.

May on the 2024 final: "This means everything to Manchester United. It's a cup final and if they go out there and put a really good shift in, then they've got a great chance."