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Cheers Jimmy

The club have today announced that Director of Youth Football, Jimmy Ryan, is retiring. He started his career at United when he was a teenager after moving down from Scotland to play for our youth team. Ryan made his début for United at the end of the 1965-66 season against West Brom and scored in his second appearance for the club in a 6-1 win over Aston Villa. Ryan’s appearances in the first team were limited due to competition from George Best although he did play in the European Cup on our way to being the first English club to win it in 1968.

After leaving United, he played almost 200 games for Luton Town before he moved to the USA to play for Dallas Tornados. Once he retired, he returned to Luton for 18 months and managed to save them from relegation before he returned to United as Reserve Team manager. In his nine years in this position, they won three league titles and two Manchester Senior Cups, helping see through the most successful generation of youth talent this country has ever seen. Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt, David Beckham and the Nevilles have made a total of 428 international appearances.

Ryan has also being United’s assistant manager on a couple of occasions, firstly in 1998 after Brian Kidd left for Blackburn and again in 2001 when Steve McClaren left to manage Middlesbrough.

In 2002 he was appointed Director of Youth Football and has held this position for the past ten years.

“I think I have a lot of mixed feelings about it,” he told the official site. “Generally speaking, a football life is a good life so I’m giving up a lot of enjoyable things. I guess it’s a wrench but everybody has to retire at some time. I’d like to think I’ll still come to Carrington to watch the boys. Of course, you also become friends with the coaches and you don’t just stop that friendship.”

All the best, Jimmy.

About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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  1. markynorbs says:

    Cheers Jimmy your a true United legend. All the best.

  2. MG says:

    Thank you Jimmy Ryan


  3. Northwalesred says:

    All the very best for your retirement Jimmy.
    Off topic Jermain Defoe has returned home from Poland following the death of his father (Condolences Jermain) and is being replaced by Stevie Me’s gardener.

  4. YS says:

    Thank YOu Jimmy

  5. Jeet says:

    Enjoy your returement, Sir!

  6. Mikekelly12 says:

    All the best Jimmy and thanks for all your hard work helping to make our club what it is today.

  7. FletchTHEMAN says:

    Cheers Jimmy! Hope you and the misses enjoy more than the garden!

  8. CedarsDevil says:

    All the best to Jimmy, such a great servant to the club….Hope he goes on and enjoys the rest of his life.

  9. DustyProton says:

    Cheers Jimmy, all the best for the future!

  10. wayne says:

    Unsung heroes are the backbone of any great club,good luck Jimmy

  11. Vidic says:

    Thanks and Good Luck Jimmy ! :mrgreen:


  12. dannysoya LOVES SIAN MASSEY says:

    Thank you for everything Jimmy.

  13. wiuru says:

    You are part of a great history and a maker of it . For that thank you Jimmy

  14. Giles Oakley says:

    It’s rather sad in a way, Jimmy Ryan’s retirement, the breaking of a chain that goes back so many decades into the Matt Busby era. I remember seeing Jimmy play a few times in the 1960s and the abiding recollection I have is of a hard-working, persistent winger who would work his socks off for the team. I must admit I’d be a little disappointed when his name was on the team sheet, especially if it meant George Best was injured, but one sensed Jimmy would never let the team down. I think his qualities of character and team spirit have shone through in all the young players who have passed through his hands on the way to first team (and international ) glory. It’s good to remember the contributions of people like Jimmy at moments like this, the men who may not have been swashbuckling geniuses on the pitch but who gave so much to Manchester United in other ways over so many years.

    I hope you have a long and happy retirement, Jimmy, and I’m sure part of that will include popping back to Carrington and Old Trafford on a regular basis, knowing you’ll always be among friends. I wonder too if you’ll also take a nostalgaic stroll to The Cliff, the old training facilities through so many years of outstanding service.

  15. matt says:

    jimmy, although you may never get the recognition you deserve for the effort you put in to our club, we still appreciate everything you have done. best of luck in the future.

  16. WillieRedNut says:

    Good luck Jim. United man to the core. Enjoy your retirement. 19

  17. Cyril Sneer says:

    Cheers Jimmy mate, all the best for your retirement.

  18. des says:

    All uniteds fans should appreciate what this man has done for the club over the years. A fantastic personality to have at the place and part of the fabric of the club.

    Thank you and all the best jimmy from a salford red.

  19. Bassalbia says:

    Thank you sir

  20. cubs says:

    Thanks Jimmy. So many good men make up this great club.

  21. cubs says:

    Sir Giles is around today. Always makes it a little better. Giles I so enjoy all you write here. And how you break down the team. I would love to hear your insitghts on Kawaga ?

  22. Jumping Jesus says:

    All the best Jimmy. You have been a big part of one of the greatest football dynasties the world has ever known.

  23. The Left Bank says:

    Sir, you are a great humble servant of the club.

    Happy retirement and all the best. You deserve it.

  24. Giles Oakley says:

    Hi Cubs, many thanks for kind comments, much appreciated. As for Kawaga, I’m very excited by his imminent arrival. I’ve only seen brief video clips but from what people say he’s very skilful and creative and will add a new dimension to United’s midfield, not least because he’s prepared to run at defenders through the middle, something we’ve lacked for a while. If Tom Cleverley can keep fit and maintain his development we should have a much stronger midfield attacking force, which could help re-ignite Anderson’s career (if he too keeps fit). He’s someone who’s never consistently lived up to his potential. Someone somewhere will get the benefit , as he’s still only young, I just hope it’s at United. I’d love to see a fast-moving, quick interchanging pattern with all these players, also including Welbeck, whose ball-retention and passing accuracy is excellent.Plus of course there’s the still improving Young, the maturing Nani (lovely goal for Portugal the other day), not to mention Wazza. I know we need strengthening in other areas, but I’m pretty confident about the future at present.

  25. Panderi says:

    All the best Jim.. Thank you for everything.. Here’s wishing you a long and happy retirement..

  26. paul says:

    Thanks for everything!
    All the best for the future!

  27. Costas says:

    What a great servant he was. Thanks for everything. Enjoy your retirement Jim. :)

  28. thetunnel68 says:

    Jimmy was one of my favourites back in the day, remember going to his digs at Hillingdon Road in Stretford for an autograph, I echo Giles Oakleys sentiment, enjoy your retirement Jimmy, all the best.

  29. NotoriousRedDevil says:

    Nice one Jimmy. Thanks for all your hard work behind the scenes.

  30. FletchTHEMAN says:

    Giles… “I think his qualities of character and team spirit have shone through in all the young players who have passed through his hands on the way to first team ” Well said mate.

    Think he might have tossed in the towel with Pogba and other youngsters cashing in. Who can understand youngsters who don’t respect the opportunities and the commitment that United have shown to them.

    Passing of the baton or passing of an era?

  31. #07 says:

    This gets thrown around a lot but seriously: legend. We’ll always remember the players but we should never forget the likes of Eric Harrison and Jimmy Ryan who helped bring them through.

  32. Cube says:

    Thanks Jim. Enjoy your retirement.

  33. Busby babes says:

    thanks jimmy and all the best for the future, it’s people like jimmy that help make this great club what it is.

  34. Utd4life says:

    Thank you for everything Mr. Jimmy Ryan.

  35. Busby_Fergie says:

    If I’m not wrong then is he the guy who celebrated insanely inside the touchline (Fergie was outside the touch ofcourse) when Brucey headed in the injury time winner against Sheffield Wed in ’93? (beg your pardon if I’m mistaken)
    Thanks would be a small word to Jimmy by the way!

  36. Busby_Fergie says:

    Oops! My bad, that was Brian Kidd!

  37. Busby_Fergie says:

    SIR ALEX FERGUSON once said, When he (Scholesy) started to play you could see exceptional ability – but he was so tiny. One day I turned to my assistant, Jim Ryan, and said: “He’s got no chance, he’s a midget.” That’s become a standing joke. Jim never lets me forget that early assessment and I have to hold my hands up.
    Cheers Jimmy :D

  38. djdresden says:

    Thanks to Jimmy Ryan Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was signed. “Gaffer, I’ve seen a player”, was his report from Norway after having been sent there to check out Ronnie Johnsen. WOW. Since then I have been in awe of Jimmy. A proper legend for all he has done. Total respect.

  39. TheCANTONA says:

    Cheers Jim Ryan, All the best for your future sir….!!!

  40. Sparkz says:

    Hugely important part of what we’ve achieved, all the best.

  41. Albert Ross says:

    Cheers Jimmy Ryan! Good luck sir, and good health. Thank you!

  42. scan74 says:

    all the best jimmy thanks for everything you’ve done

  43. ZuluUtd-Malta says:

    Thanks Jimmy for your loyalty to our beloved MANCHESTER UNITED F.C.!!

  44. OHH AHH Cantona says:

    Thank you Jimmy happy retirement

  45. King Eric says:

    A huge loss for United. All the best Jim.


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