Sammy: My relationship with Sir Matt
Sammy McIlroy believes one of Sir Matt Busby’s most important qualities as Manchester United manager was his ability to make everyone at the club feel important.
During the latest episode of UTD Podcast, the former Red talked fondly of his time working with Sir Matt, and he believes the family environment the Scot created at United was key to underpinning the values and beliefs that are still evident.
“He was fantastic. For me, he was Manchester United and why it is what it is today,” declared McIlroy.
“The first thing that really impressed me with Sir Matt was he knew everyone by their first name, from apprentices to the ladies in the laundry, to the groundsman, everyone... even people's families and partners, he knew them all by their first name. And he made everyone feel part of what was going on. I think Sir Alex took that on too, making everyone at the club feel important.
“I remember when I went away with the first team for the first time when I was 16, he didn't come over and make a big fuss of you, it was just a natural thing. It was like 'you're here now, get on with it'. He was brilliant like that.”
Sammy also gave an insight into life in the dressing room before matches, with Sir Matt insisting that, while results were important, the team’s ability to entertain the fans was equally essential to the United ethos.
“Everyone talks about whether he had a hard sort of way about him... he was always immaculately dressed all the time, and he would let you know if things weren't right,” added Sammy.
“But the thing that really sticks in my mind is before you went out to play, he'd say 'make sure those fans are entertained'. They've worked all week in Trafford Park and they've come to see entertainment, so make sure they see it. I thought that was brilliant."