Messages of support for our youngsters

Wednesday 11 May 2022 13:52

Manchester United players past and present have been wishing our Under-18s luck ahead of tonight’s FA Youth Cup final against Nottingham Forest at Old Trafford.

A bumper crowd is expected for the game, in which the Reds could extend our competition record and win an unprecedented 11th FA Youth Cup.

Members of the first team will be in attendance in M16 and several players from the senior dressing room have sent messages of support via social media before the match.

Marcus Rashford, who knows all about this tournament having first played in it as a 16-year-old, said: “Good luck tonight boys. I have great memories playing in the FA Youth Cup. We’re all fully behind you and I wanted to wish you all the best. Enjoy the experience.”

Bruno Fernandes has worn the captain’s armband in recent first-team fixtures and he also tweeted a good luck message.

“Good luck to the youth team at Old Trafford tonight. It's amazing to have a big crowd there to support them which will be a very good experience for our young players,” he said.

Juan Mata and David De Gea also got involved, adding 'All the best boys' and 'Let’s go' respectively.

United have a rich Youth Cup history, having won the tournament for the first five years of its existence.

Further success followed in 1964 but arguably our most famous side is the ‘Class of 92’, which overcame Crystal Palace 6-3 on aggregate back when the finals were played over two legs.

That team contained the likes of David Beckham, Ryan Giggs, Nicky Butt and Gary Neville – all Treble winners in 1999 – and Neville is keen to see a repeat victory 30 years on.

The other Neville was too young to feature that season but he did captain the Reds to a penalty shoot-out victory over Tottenham three years later.

Phil remarked upon the big attendance expected this evening, while emphasising how key our youth system remains to the club.

The Nevilles' former team-mate Rio Ferdinand also wished the boys luck, as did bona fide United legend Denis Law.

Alex Stepney, our goalkeeper in the 1968 European Cup final, added: “Good luck to the Utd lads in the final tonight, play your game, play as a team and fight for everything.”