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.”
To mark the anniversary of United winning the Treble with a team that had academy products at the core, Made in Manchester is available for just £3 for today only. Some of the best football writers take a player each, from Sir Bobby Charlton to Ryan Giggs, George Best to David Beckham, Duncan Edwards to Paul Scholes, and many more, with 30 articles in total. All profit goes to Trafford Macmillan so please support this fantastic cause.