Darren Fletcher played his first game since Boxing Day last year today as United cruised to a 3-0 victory over Aston Villa.
After a chronic bowel condition threatened to end his career, Fletcher insists that he is now back for good, and aims to nail down a place in the team.
“This is it, I’m back for good,” said Fletcher. “This is hopefully the game which means I’m back now. I seem to have come through the setbacks and health issues and I’m thankful for that. It’s onwards and upwards now. I always believed I would come back, I kept that mind-set. I think other people around me were trying to make me think otherwise, but I stayed strong and believed I would get back. I think that was the best way to approach the situation and I knew I was going to go through a lot, but the belief and determination was to get back. Playing a game like that, and getting an ovation like that [from the United fans] makes it all worthwhile. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve wanted to play football. I’ve been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to play for Manchester United and wasn’t going to give that up lightly. I battled through it, and I’m only 29 years old, I think I’ve got plenty more years of playing left in me. That was reiterated to me by my family, friends and the old manager. I could have a career all over again if I get my health right, and hopefully that’s what I’m going to do.”
Made in Manchester is available for just £5. It includes 30 articles from the country's best football writers about graduates from the Manchester United academy. Everyone who buys a copy enters a competition to win the new home shirt. All profit goes to Trafford Macmillan so please support this fantastic cause.