Maguire reveals United's classy gesture in 2011
Harry Maguire has revealed how a touch of class from Manchester United impressed him during his time with upcoming opponents, Sheffield United.
Ahead of his emotional return to Bramall Lane next weekend, the England centre-back spoke at length to Inside United magazine about playing for the Blades and, in particular, the 2011 FA Youth Cup final when he was on the receiving end of the Reds' 6-3 aggregate triumph.
In the second leg, Maguire's maiden outing at Old Trafford ended prematurely; he was knocked unconscious after an aerial challenge with Ravel Morrison who is now in Sheffield United's squad. As our video of the incident shows, the entire home crowd rose to its feet to applaud Harry as he was taken down the tunnel on a stretcher.
“It was just after half-time when it happened. I had a clash of heads with Ravel and actually got knocked out," Maguire told our official monthly magazine.
"It was the only time I’ve been knocked out in my career, touch wood. It was a nasty blow and I was in hospital overnight.
“Obviously it was disappointing to go off and not see the end of the game when the medals and trophy were presented. But then someone got in touch [from Manchester United] and checked I was okay. They sent me a Man United shirt, and just said: 'Good luck for the future, you’re a good, promising young player, keep your head down and so on.'
“It was a nice touch from the club and just shows what a classy club United is.”
Maguire grew up in the Sheffield United Academy and remains grateful for his grounding and valuable experience with the South Yorkshire club.
Playing regular men's football with the Blades helped to shape him into one of the top defenders around. To emphasise his growing influence this season, our summer signing from Leicester City has worn the captain's armband for the Reds and for England, in the latter stages of Thursday's 7-0 win over Montenegro.
"I’ve been really lucky, to have had a lot of experience in terms of playing games," he said. "I played 50 games for three or four seasons at Sheffield United, every year.
“That's something I really love doing. I love playing. For me, the best way to learn is by playing games and I’ve been fortunate, in terms of the managers I’ve played for, that they have all picked me to start, especially in my younger days when it’s harder as a young centre-back to get your chance to go and play.”
The 26-year-old is hoping for a good reception from the passionate Sheffield United supporters who instantly took to his enthusiasm and attitude, from the moment he made his Blades debut against Cardiff City.
"The crowd got right on my side," he said, of his first senior appearance back in April 2011. "They have been great with me ever since, the Sheffield United fans, so I’ve got a lot to thank them for.
“I’ll be back at Bramall Lane and I'm sure I’ll get a better reception than I did from the Leicester fans when they came to Old Trafford!
“Sheffield United have started great in the Premier League but, when we play them, it’s going to be business for me. I’ll be trying to get the three points off them but then hope they win every other game, apart from the ones against us."
In a quirk of fate, the man Maguire collided with at Old Trafford, Morrison, is now with our next opponents, as previously mentioned.
The FA Youth Cup winner is still looking to force his way into the plans of Blades boss Chris Wilder on a regular basis.
"It has turned out strange," admitted Maguire. "Ravel, when he was a young boy, was a top player. I haven’t played against him since [the 2011 final] but he’s got all the talent to be a top player and I hope he does really well with Sheffield United."
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