‘I ended up coming head-on into traffic!’
In the latest episode of the UTD Podcast, Owen Hargreaves reveals that just days after arriving at United from Bayern Munich in 2007, he almost crashed his brand-new car by driving it on the wrong side of the road!
Before his Reds move, Hargreaves had spent his entire career in Canada and Germany, where they drive on the right-hand side of the road.
Our former no.4 admits that he had never driven on the left before moving to Manchester, and shared a funny tale of his first day at the club.
“Bayern had Audi as a sponsor and, when I came, United [also] had Audi. So they set up a club car and they were like ‘can you drive on the other side of the road?’ because growing up in Canada [the steering wheel] was always on the left side and, in Germany, it was the same.
“I was like ‘yeah, yeah, of course I can.’ I think I was actually late for [my] first day because I actually got lost, but I didn’t want to tell anyone that I got lost. I remember going down the wrong side of the road. I was living in The Lowry [hotel] and I took a wrong turn and literally ended up coming head-on into traffic and people are like ‘what are you doing, you idiot?’
“I remember somebody recognised me and I was like ‘sorry’ and he was like: ‘You’ve got to get on the other side of the road!’ [laughs]
“So, then for the first week, I had to make sure I stayed behind someone to make sure I got the right turns, and then, after a while, you kind of pick it up. But roundabouts and all that stuff, I had never done that. I probably should have told somebody!”
In hindsight, Hargreaves feels he should have moved to Manchester a short while before the beginning of pre-season training to aid his transition.
“There were so many different things [to Germany or Canada]," he admitted. "It was cool, but I should have come a bit earlier and acclimatised.
“There was a lot to get used to.”
Listen to the full episode of the Owen Hargreaves UTD Podcast here.