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United’s Heroes: Robson Is Nev’s, McGrath Is O’Shea’s, Maradona Is Rooney’s

Sir Alex Ferguson, Gary Neville, Ryan Giggs, Wayne Rooney, Rio Ferdinand, Michael Carrick, Anderson, Jonny Evans, John O’Shea and Ben Foster tell the official United magazine who their heroes are.

Sir Alex Ferguson – Denis Law

“Denis was my hero. I idolised him. When I first met him I was so excited. It was at a game in Paris, he had played in the first half and we went for a cup of tea afterwards. I thought, ‘This is it, I’ve made it!’ He epitomised everything a Scotsman is about. He was daring and courageous, he had that bravado about him and he had style. He was a truly fantastic footballer.”

Jonny Evans – Roy Keane

“I reckon 80 per cent of young players who supported Manchester United when they were growing up would tell you that Roy Keane was their hero – just because of the way he was and the character he is. Keano was an awesome player – and an incredible leader.”

Gary Neville – Bryan Robson

“I always thought Bryan Robson was everything that a United player should be – and I still do. Even when I watch footage of him in action now, I always think of him giving everything for the cause. Blood, guts and thunder – with real class as well.”

John O’Shea – Paul McGrath

“Paul McGrath was a big favourite. He was as comfortable playing in midfield as he was at centre-back. It wasn’t a problem to him. He was the versatile type. And not only did he have great ability he was also very calm on the ball. He was a special player.”

Ben Foster – Peter Schmeichel

“Peter Schmeichel was a cut above the rest in his era and changed the face of goalkeeping. I still try to model myself on him and use aspects of his game in mine. He produced some truly unbelievable saves. I still watch them on YouTube.”

Anderson – Rivaldo

“His passing and his aggressive way of playing was great. I’m definitely a big admirer of his technique.”

Rio Ferdinand, Ryan Giggs, Wayne Rooney – Maradona

Rio Ferdinand: “My inspiration to play football was probably Diego Maradona. He’s the first memory I have of someone doing something really great. I had all his videos and loved watching him.”

Ryan Giggs: “I always used to look out for left-footers and John Barnes and Maradona were always the ones that I looked up to when I was a kid. I remember Maradona in the 1986 World Cup. He was such a great player. That goal he scored against England – not the Hand of God goal – was absolutely amazing.”

Wayne Rooney: “My favourite player is Maradona. I’ve watched lots of videos of him in action and I just love the way he played. In my eyes, he’s the best player of all time.”

Michael Carrick – Peter Beardsley, Gazza and Ian Wright

“I loved the way Beardo (Peter Beardsley) played the game. Gascoigne was an absolute genius. Wright I enjoyed watching more for his goal celebrations.”

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. theboogeyman says:

    Giggs and Scholes for me.And RedNev.

  2. N667 says:

    for me steve bruce, i alwys feel he’s the one who strted the trophy inflow with his goal n alwys have tht close to my heart

  3. boam6 says:

    Off topic but who here is from Manchester just because I was on the united official forum and some idiot wrote that the forum should only be for people from Manchester I’m from Manchester but I look at united as a global brand and we have fans all over the world hense we’re going to Malaysia just wondered what your guys views are on this and where your from?

  4. vishnu1729 says:

    no doubt its PAUL SCHOLES

  5. Kshetrajna says:

    I am from India….but that does not make me lesser fan than someone from Manchester…does it???I never miss a single united match…even if it happens to be in wierd timings for me…i hate the dippers as much as anyother fan….i cheered as much as anyother fan when we won the European Cup…
    Anyway the idea that only locals should be considered fans is ridiculous…Does that mean only locals will get to play for the club??Without being disrespectful to anybody…Its easier to be a supporter when you get to visit every match and watch the players week in week out…People like me dream of maybe watching one match in the future and that would be such a dream come true for me…I spend half the day reading about United and its past…I still argue with my Dipper supporting friends that their 5 cups would not have been won if the babes had lived on…I am filled with pride when i watch videos of Best and Charlton and Law….So if anyone says that i am not as much a supporter as one from manchester then its his problem …Its his insecurity as a supporter… :P

  6. boam6 says:

    Kshetrajna That was the response I was hoping for of course just because you live in a different country you are not a lesser fan I respect fans from other countries because of the amount of commitment they give have you ever been to old Trafford? If not you should definatley try to one day it really is “the Theatre of Dreams”

  7. Gotta hate tiny tears says:

    I just got back from watchin Newcastle playing and Nicky butt walked off the pitch during a corner he didnt go up for to give Me an autograph and Me Wearin a united hoodie he said not a bother NeXT season without Ronaldo valencia is top drawer

  8. Mark the Devil says:

    @Boam6 – i’m from Barnsley and i’m as passionate about United as anybody from Manchester. I remember the dark days of the 70′s when we got relegated, did i get less passionate then? Did i hell! I supported even more.

  9. redbenzema says:

    tiny tears,

    i have no idea what the hell you just said

  10. boam6 says:

    Mark the devil this is my point it doesn’t matter where your form as long as united is your life then your a true red like I said united is a global brand I enjoy the fact that my beloved team is so well supported! :)

  11. giggsy11times says:

    Basically Nicky didn’t go up for one of the corners, so he gave GHTT an autograph at the side of the pitch as he was wearing his United hoodie and said Valencia is top drawer. The Barcodes were playing Shamrock (maybe?) today.

    On topic, as from the name, Giggs is my hero. Had home and away shirts with his name a number and countless posters lol. Also used to like Sharp if I remember right! Only for his Elvis.

  12. Gotta hate tiny tears says:

    I went to see newcastle play a gamę against my local team and while rovers had a corner in the other half i shouted at nicky butt for an autograph as he was about 2 feet away from me he came over to me to and gave me one. He then seen that I was wearing a man united top and said that Valencia was top drawer and next season will be no bother without Ronaldo

  13. aig alex is god says:

    off are real madrid upto.they r close to signing gaetano d agostino frm udinese for 21.5mn pounds.

  14. NicoQB says:

    Butty – United through and through, just as Phil Nev! I personally never really rated either of them though… Conceded way too many fouls in dangerous areas.

  15. aig alex is god says:

    @ghtt.r u serious?

  16. Gotta hate tiny tears says:

    Sig I really am it was cool I gave the autograph to my neice

  17. Vim Fuego says:

    For me the players you idolise are the ones when you were a kid. When you get older you just appreciate class players. Luckily these class players only play for Manchester United.

    There are two players I idolised as a kid. Steve Coppell & Martin Buchan. Legends.

  18. vidic will get ya 15 says:

    ghtt thats fuckin ace, i remember delievering some tarmac to nicky butts house in manchester just after they had drew 2-2 with chelsea to pretty much had us our 1st of 3, he is a top bloke never really done alot since leaving us though. wish him all the best next season

  19. Wayne wonder Rooney says:

    Man United has had and still has so many gr8 players that its rly hard to choose one..anyways d players I hav admired are Cantona, Ronaldo, Rooney and d Giggsy generation
    Outside Man United I wouldnt I lie am a big fan of Michael Owen even though I h8 Liverfools

  20. aig alex is god says:

    i heard dat nicky butt has gt relegated twice.can nyone tel me which was the other club apart frm newcastle?

  21. boam6 says:

    Birmingham wasn’t it?

  22. aig alex is god says:

    @boam 6.thanks mate.wen was it?.when i started following he was at man utd

  23. Jim Carrey says:

    I’m from Liverpool. Yes it’s a shithole. I support and worship United basically because my Dad made me when I was a baby (I’m 16 now). He was from Manchester and was a young kid during the days of Best, Law and Charlton. My grandad saw Duncan Edwards play. Such a lucky bastard. He told my dad that it was the best thing he ever saw.

  24. TheMightyReds says:

    I’m 18 and grew up in the 90′s and Giggsy has always been my idol! Every United shirt ive owned ive had Giggs on the back. Man United Legend!

  25. Dazjoe says:

    I’m 31, grew up early 80′s idolizing Bryan Robson, always wanted to play like him, pure legend.
    Outside of United had to be Van Basten, best striker I’ve ever seen, even today. He was twice the player of Henry or RVN, only striker I’ve seen since to come close was Ronaldo (the Brazilian one obviously) but the 80′s were a good era to grow up in, football wise.
    Maradona, Van Basten, Gullit, Zico, Platini, Robson, Sanchez, Butragueno, legends each and every one.

  26. Dazjoe says:

    I hear you mate. I’m living in Melbourne now, but lived in Gateshead all my life before that, grew up as a Man United fan cos me old man was from Manchester originally, only came to live up north when he met my mother, no way was he gonna see me grow up supporting the barcodes or the mackums! My room was filled with United paraphernalia from day 1, bedsheets, posters, kits and footballs, the works.He’d take me to games now and then as well. But last year, in Sydney, I got talking to 3 lads from Manchester all in their United kits in a boozer. 2 of them were sound, having a good crack, the 3rd was a dick, starting griefing me about ‘Giving Man United fans a bad name, I’m the reason why other fans think there’s no United fans in Manchester, I’m a Geordie so I should fuck off’ basically. Luckily his mates told him to shut the fuck up or fuck off, so he fucked off, but what an arrogant nob! The only plus point? I’m very happy to say he had Tevez on the back of his shirt, way to waste 50 quid, dick splash.

  27. Kshetrajna says:

    Back to the topic..
    My favourite has to be Scholes…Have posters of him all over my room….when i play football i try to play like him(note the try)…what a player and what a man….pure legend…outside united i would say Zola was a player i really admired…

  28. Sash Sylvarre says:

    My dad used to talk a lot about Cantona. And I started watching football (United) during his years at Old Trafford. When you say hero, he comes to my mind. Another is Ole! I believe Ole is the last of his kind we shall ever see.

  29. foo art says:

    my late sister bought me a shirt with ole gunnar solskjaer picture during the day sheringham transfer to manchester if i remember…from that day manchester united is my favourite football club till now no matter who leaves…my footbal idol never leaves though…the guy on that my very first manchester united shirt…

  30. AR says:

    I would say mine is Giggs. My favourite moment would be the goal he scored against arsenal in the FA Cup. Pure magic from the Welsh Wizzard

  31. swissred says:

    @scott: looks as if rio’s got another hero, watch the video:

    maybe you can write an article from it…



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