Manchester Football Clubs

Manchester
Footballers


Players & Managers from Manchester United and Manchester City Football
Clubs

Gary
Neville

Gary Neville

Born on the 18th
February 1975, Gary Neville joined Manchester United FC in July 1991
and became a professional player with the club in January 1993. He
had previously played for Bury and Greater Manchester Schoolboys teams.
His first senior appearance was in the 1992 UEFA Cup against Torpedo
Moscow. By the 1994-1995 season Neville had become a regular United
first team player in the full back position and was a substitute in
the 1996 FA Cup Final winning match against Liverpool. Also in 1996
he was selected for the England’s Euro ’96 team.
In the summer of 1998, Neville was included in Glenn Still part of
the England squad for the World Cup in France, Neville played in three
of England’s four matches.
A recurring groin injury dogged him during the 1999-2000 season, but
he still managed to win another Cap for the three matches he played
in Euro2000 competition. As a centre-back in the 2000-2001 season,
Neville completed his 299th appearance with Manchester United so that
during that season he was offered a renewed contract for six years
guaranteeing a position with the club until July 2007.
A foot injury kept him out of Sven Goran Eriksson’s England squad
for the 2002 World Cup, and indeed prevented him from playing until
September of that year.
Back on form by October 2002, he earned a sixth League Winners’ Medal.
So far he has earned more than 50 caps to and a veritable collection
of domestic medals. Gary Neville is one of England’s most experienced
and reliable players and his defensive ability has proved crucial
for club as well as for the England national team.

Kevin
Keegan

Kevin Keegan

Born 14 February
1951 at Armthorpe, near Doncaster, Yorkshire, Kevin Keegan was rejected
by Doncaster and Coventry as a schoolboy, and joined Scunthorpe United
as an apprentice player in 1968. He made his league debut at the age
of 17 against Peterborough United.
In 1971,
Bill Shankly paid £35,000 for him to join Liverpool FC – here
he scored no fewer than 100 goals in 321 matches over the next 6 years
and was twice elected Player of the Year in 1978 and 1979, the only
British player ever to be so honoured. Controversially, he was sold
to SV Hamburg in West Germany for £500,000 in June 1977, which
alienated many former fans.
He returned
to England to join Southampton in August 1982 and moved on to Newcastle
in May 1984.
Keegan made
his England debut against Wales in Cardiff at the age of 22 in 1972.
During his 10 years playing for England he earned 63 caps, was captain
31 times and scored 21 goals.
His last
game for England was in 1982, and he subsequently spent seven years
out of football living in Spain before returning to join Newcastle
United in February 1992.
In September 1998 he joined Fulham Football Club. During his first
year as manager there he took the team from 18th position in the second
division to become division champions, with a record number of points.
Thereafter
he briefly acted as England coach in 1999 before quitting to take
on management of the England team on a part-time basis, to help them
qualify for the Euro2000 competition. Subsequently he took up the
position full time in May 1999, but a miserable defeat in the opening
game caused him to resign immediately.
Soon after,
in May 2001, he was invited to become manager at Manchester City,
and led them to promotion into the Premier League in his first season.
During his playing career Keegan earned the reputation as one of the
most popular players in British football, and became a most respected
manager at Manchester City football club for a short time.

Nicholas
Anelka

Nicholas Anelka

Paris-born striker
Nicholas Anelka arrived to play for Manchester City FC at the then
Maine Road stadium in June 2002 after an abortive move to Liverpool.
After failing to be signed by Liverpool after a spell on loan to them,
Man City manager Kevin Keegan quickly seized the opportunity to sign
Anelka to the Club.
London Club Arsenal had initially signed Anelka in 1997 as a teenager
for the sum of £500,000, but his temperament earned him the
nickname of “Le Whinge”, and in 1999 he was sold on to Real
Madrid for £23million. Another disastrous season saw his return
to Paris St Germaine within the year.
He played in City’s losing team at Leeds but went during his first
season to score a hat trick against Everton. A succession of goals
in ensuing games made him a favourite with fans and on one occasion
he was mobbed by adoring supporters in the streets outside Maine Road.
No stranger to controversy, fined several times for late arrival at
training sessions, Anelka made international news headlines when he
refused to play for his country in their friendly against Yugoslavia
in France. French football authorities countered with an unsuccessful
attempt to get FIFA to ban Anelka from playing for two matches – Keegan
said that it was a domestic issue between the player and the French
footballing authorities, and in the event no action was taken.
Anelka’s early 2003-2004 performance was impressive with a hat-trick
against Aston Villa and a nomination as the Thomas Cook Player of
the Month for September 2003.

Paul
Scholes

Paul Scholes

Paul Scholes was
born on 16th November 1974 in Salford, and joined Manchester United
as a trainee in July 1991 before becoming a professional footballer
in January 1993. As a young mid-fielder Scholes was a promising youth
and reserve team player, winning an FA Youth Cup winners’ medal in
1992 and a runners-up medal in the same competition a year later.
He was also a member of the England Under-18 team which won the European
Championships in 1993.
In September 1994 he made his league debut playing against Ipswich
Town, where, despite losing that game, he scored both of Man United’s
2 goals. By the end of the 1994-1995 season he had become a regular
first team player and appeared in the 1998 World Cup Finals, scoring
in England’s opening match against Tunisia.
A low point in his career came in the 1998-1999 season when he became
the first England player ever to be sent off at Wembley Arena during
the drawn Euro 2000 qualifying match against Sweden.
His game is notable for its accurate passing and bold tackling and
these skills were evident in the defeat of Scotland at Hampden Park,
where Scholes scored both goals in the Euro 2000 play-off. This performance
earned him the England Supporters Club title of Player of the Year.
By 2001 Scholes had become a regular England player and received his
fifth Premiership Winners Medal at the end of that season after making
44 appearances and scoring eleven goals, 15 of these being European
Cup goals – one more than the record held by Denis Law.
In July 2001 his contract at Manchester United was extended until
June 2006. The year 2002 saw him as part of the England squad at the
2002 World Cup finals in Japan and South Korea. Paul Scholes is an
inveterate striker, and is equally comfortable with a spectacular
long range shot or with a short tap in from on the goal line, and
se ems to
save his best performances for big games.

Rio
Ferdinand

Rio Ferdinand

Rio Ferdinand
was born in November 1978 in Peckham, South East London. As a young
aspiring player he was centre-forward for his local junior team, Bloomfields,
where he was reputed to have scored 30 goals in a season. Later he
went on to Eltham Town as an Under-13 and Under-14 player. It was
while he was at Eltham that he was spotted by a West Ham talent scout.
Ferdinand first signed for West Ham as a schoolboy at the tender age
of fourteen. By the time he was ready to leave school at sixteen,
he had been invited to join Middlesbrough, Norwich City, Millwall,
Charlton and Chelsea. However, he remained with West Ham on a two-year
Youth Training Scheme contract for the princely sum of £30 per
week, and all the boots he could clean. Rio’s attitude and ability
clearly impressed West Ham, who signed him on his first professional
contract at the age of 17 – he made his debut as a professional footballer
as a substitute against Sheffield Wednesday at Upton Park.
By 1997 he was playing in the senior team and on the 1st of February
of that year he scored his first senior goal. In all Ferdinand was
to make 152 appearances for West Ham, before he was signed over to
Leeds United for £18million in November 2000 – at that time
a British record fee for a defender.
By the end of the 2002 season he had been universally recognised as
a most accomplished defender and was much sought after. As one of
England’s most outstanding performers in the 2002 World Cup, his potential
transfer value rocketed during the 2002 World Cup, and Manchester
United began to show interest in acquiring him for the club. After
weeks of speculation and subsequent negotiation, Rio Ferdinand was
signed for a new British record fee of £30million – then the
world’s most expensive defender!
Initially dogged with injury and loss of form at Old Trafford, his
game slowly developed to top form as United overtook Arsenal to win
the 15th League title in their history.
Long an
outspoken campaigner against racism in football, his Live Dream Team
Foundation provides job opportunities for under-privileged youngsters.
He recently made an appearance in the 2009 movie “Dead Man
Running” , for which he was also executive producer.

Robbie
Fowler

Robbie Fowler

Born in Toxteth,
Liverpool on the 9th of April 1975, Robbie Fowler claims to have been
playing with footballs since the age of three. His arrival at Maine
Road was possibly one of the shrewdest purchases by manager Kevin
Keegan. As a fervent Everton supporter Fowler was spotted by a Liverpool
scout and signed up as a 14 year old boy. He made his Liverpool debut
in September 1993 as an 18 year old when he scored all five goals
in the second-leg league cup game against Fulham. In the 1996-1997
season he scored 31 goals and won his first England cap. His growing
reputation began to draw comparisons with great past British footballers
like Jimmy Greaves.
In 330 matches at Liverpool, Fowler scored 171 goals in all, the peak
of his Liverpool career probably coming in 2001, when, as a stand-in
Captain for the team, they won all three major football trophies.

In November 2001, he moved to Leeds United at Elland Road, where,
despite injuries, he scored 14 goals in 30 league appearances during
a 14 month stay with the club. In 2002 he was a member of the England
World Cup Squad in Japan and Korea.
His move to join Kevin Keegan’s Manchester City team at Maine Road
was universally welcomed by fans. His first goal for City was scored
in their 1-0 win over Birmingham.
Robbie Fowler is regarded as probably the best natural goalscorer
in England. He
is equally happy aiming at the goal mouth with either foot, head,
in the box, out the box – in fact, almost anywhere. Ongoing injuries
have prevented him from playing more at international level.

Roy
Keane

Roy Keane

Roy Keane was
born in Cork, Ireland, on 10 October 1971. After several abortive
attempts to get apprenticeships with any English League clubs, Keane’s
chance came in 1989 when, at the age of 18, manager Brian Clough took
him to play at Nottingham Forest. A promising youngster, by the end
of his first full season he had played in the 1991 FA Cup Final, collecting
a runners up medal.
In May 1991 he was spotted by Jack Charlton, manager of the Ireland
national team, who gave him his first full international cap. However,
Nottingham Forest were relegated the following season and Keane was
sold to Manchester United for a record fee of £3.75 million.
Here he soon emerged as a powerful midfield player, helping United
win six Premier League Championships, including two doubles in 1994
and 1996. He also participated in the 1994 World Cup Finals and is
a regular international for the Republic of Ireland.
In 1997 he was made team captain, but in less than two months he was
sidelined after a serious knee injury. Keane soon fought his way back
to full fitness to lead the team out, at Wembley, in the 1998 pre
season Charity Shield.
His career has enjoyed mixed fortunes: a sending-off against Juventus,
forced him to miss the final in Barcelona. Several ankle injuries
also prevented him from playing for the rest of that season. Rumours
of a possible move from United abounded until in the 1999-2000 season,
Keene was offered a new deal. After that, as team captain, his skills
were was recognised by both the Football Writers and the Professional
Footballers Association, who both voted him Player of the Year. He
went on in 2001 to lead United to a seventh Championship title.
On the international front, despite his on-pitch successes, following
a row with the team manager he was sent off the pitch and subsequently,
he retired from international football ‘on medical grounds’.
In his published autobiography, he admitted to having injured Manchester
City’s Alf Inge Haaland on purpose during a vicious tackle, and was
punished by a five-match ban and a large fine. This ban and a serious
leg/hip operation put his future in question, but despite being out
of action for almost six months, Keane made it very clear that he
still has a few years left in him yet!
Keane left United in November 2005 after a reported difference of
opinion between himself and Sir Alex Ferguson and disparaging remarks
he is said to have made about several team-mates.

Ruud
van Nistelrooy

Ruud van Nistelrooy

Full name: Rutgerus
Johannes Martinius Ruud van Nistelrooy. Born on 1st July 1976 in Oss,
in the south-central region of the Netherlands, Ruud van Nistelrooy
is a natural sportsman who played football for his local village team,
as well as tennis and gymnastics as a schoolboy. As a boy in his village
team he played as a sweeper. In 1993 his professional football career
began when he moved to the Second Division side FC Den Bosch. Here
he was able to show off his skills behind the forward line. Within
four years he had moved onto the Dutch First Division with SC Heerenveen
as a striker. He quickly accrued 13 goals from 30 appearances.
By November 1998, he had made his international debut for Holland
in a 1-1 draw against Germany, and by the end of his first season
in 1999, he had become top scorer in the Dutch League with 31 goals
to be voted Dutch Player of the Year.
His scoring record with PSV Eindoven included 60 goals during the
two seasons. In the 1999-2000 season he scored two hat-tricks against
Ajax.
By April 2000, Manchester United had become interested in acquiring
van Nistelrooy, despite medical tests showing a weakness in his right
knee, sustained in a friendly against Silkeborg that same month. However,
he refused a reparative operation, knowing that would rule him out
for the Euro2000 competition. Ironically, two days later, back in
Eindhoven, he ruptured a ligament in the same knee and was forced
to watch Euro2000 by television.
Considerable encouragement by Sir Alex Ferguson was a source of strength
in the player’s rehabilitation, and, with the aid of a personal trainer,
he set out on the road to recovery.
By March 2001, van Nistelrooy made a comeback with PSV, continuing
to score goals, before he made a long-awaited move to Manchester United,
for a then British record transfer fee of £19 million.
At Old Trafford he scored in his very first match – the Charity Shield
defeat to Liverpool. He went on to accrue 36 goals in his debut season.
In the 2002-2003 season he tallied 44 goals and United went on to
win the 2002-2003 Premiership.

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This page last updated 14 Mar 12.