One of my favourite United pictures is Gary and Phil Neville holding the European Cup up between them in 1999. The two brothers, United through and through, beaming up at our fans, holding on to one of the most impressive prizes in world football.
On the rarer footage from that night in Barcelona, you will Phil going absolutely mental after Ole scored. Facing our fans, pumping his fists up and down in the air, jumping about and screaming like a girl. It would probably embarrass him to watch now but for any red it’s top viewing. He completely lost himself in the moment, like the rest of us. You can’t ever have too many players who feel that way about your club and I’d have loved it if things worked out differently for him. If Keano had retired in the summer of 2005, instead of waiting a few months to walk out, Phil would probably still be wearing our shirt.
That’s all the by the by now though, and as Everton captain, he will be disappointed to miss out on this weekend’s game through injury.
Phil have revealed that he is in regular contact with brother Gary, but leading up to match days, it can be very different.
“Me and Gary are still really close, we speak around three times a day normally,” said Phil. “But I know when he’s preparing for a match against Everton when he stops answering his phone to me, he’s probably in with a shout to start.”