Jonny Evans

Evans fulfils Sir Alex's prediction

Tuesday 27 September 2022 14:00

Jonny Evans has become the latest Manchester United Academy graduate to join the list of international centurions.

The Leicester City centre-back has won his 100th cap for Northern Ireland in the UEFA Nations League game in Greece tonight (Tuesday).

After a 2-1 win over Kosovo, Ian Baraclough's side are aiming to end the group stage on a high, with second spot still a possibility.


In an interview with Sky Sports, Evans has revealed that Sir Alex Ferguson predicted he would go on to amass so many caps after he made his international debut, a famous 3-2 win over Spain back in 2006.

Another United Academy graduate, David Healy, scored a hat-trick at Windsor Park that night.

"I was on the way to the airport [after the Spain game] and Sir Alex rang me and said I would go on and get 100 caps," said Evans.

"So it's always been something I've set my sights on. Over the years, with injuries, you doubt if you'll ever get there but I've been fortunate to have a good spell of games over the last few years."


In a separate interview with BBC Sport, the defender added: "I probably look at my Northern Ireland career with some great highs and some lows. I've made mistakes, I've been sent off and had suspensions.

"You can't always look back with regret but you do sort of think you'd do some things differently. But I am very proud of where I am today. It gives me even greater respect for Pat Jennings, Aaron Hughes and Steven Davis and for what they've achieved.

"I'm getting lots of accolades for reaching 100, but every cap Steven plays over 100 is even more impressive. He's on 139 and will hit 140 - he's a big inspiration for everyone."

While Evans is the fourth player to reach the milestone for Northern Ireland, he is the fifth United Academy graduate to join the 100-caps club by our reckoning.

John O'Shea leads the way, with his 118 Republic of Ireland caps. David Beckham is next on the list with 115 for England.

Sir Bobby Charlton (105) also reached three figures for the Three Lions and Gerard Pique, who joined the Reds as a youngster from Barcelona before returning to the Catalan side, has played 102 times for Spain.

Congratulations, Jonny!



In the video that you can watch above, a long list of former United team-mates sent their best wishes to Jonny…

Danny Simpson: “I remember the day when you actually got your first cap. We were in Belgium together at Antwerp and I knew from then on that you'd be an amazing player.”

John O'Shea: “You are one of Northern Ireland's best-ever players mate, so congrats and I hope you get plenty more after the 100. I hope they don't retire you too soon! [laughs]”

Tom Cleverley: “It's a fantastic achievement in what is already a brilliant career.”

Rafael da Silva: “It was a pleasure to play with you my friend.”

Fabio da Silva: “I know you are a little bit old [laughs], but there's still time to get a few more. Congratulations my friend.”

Rio Ferdinand: “You were always hard working to be honest with you. You were serious about your game, meticulous, all about the details, so I'm not surprised in any way shape or form if I'm honest. You've had a good career because you've deserved it man. It's coming to an end, the curtain is drawing on the career and it happens quickly man so just enjoy these last months... no I'm joking!"

Patrice Evra: “Keep going, 100 is just a number, now you have to keep going and bleed for your national team.”

Michael Carrick: “You make it look so easy, you make those around you play even better, trust me I know. I wish we could have played together for longer than we did, but I absolutely loved playing with you mate, playing in front of you, and I say you made my job a hell of a lot easier.”
Jonny remains an extremely popular figure among his former United team-mates.
Darren Fletcher: “I am sure you are proud of yourself and I know your family are really proud of you. Enjoy the moment, you are a fantastic ambassador for Northern Irish football, for everything you have done for the international team and for your club teams.”

Wayne Rooney: “Congratulations on your 100th cap mate, it's a massive achievement and we are all proud of you. Enjoy the night, I will be watching so hopefully you can get the win. Well done again and hopefully I will see you soon.”

Keith Gillespie: “I remember your debut all those years aho against Spain, absolutely outstanding, and well done on getting the 100.”

Corry Evans: “You have been a remarkable player for club and country throughout your career, a huge inspiration, not only for myself but thousands of other children who you continue to inspire. To be able to have shared the pitch with yourself for the majority of those caps, it's been a real honour and we have made a lot of memories along the way and hopefully we can continue to make more together as brothers, even though we aren't getting any younger. Again, I just want to say congratulations and I will see you soon.”

Helen Evans: “Congratulations on 100 caps, we are so proud of you and we know it is a lot of sacrifice and time away from us, but it is all worth it to see you representing Northern Ireland. All the best for the game and good luck.”