January 20th 2009: I am a big Manchester United fan and have been all my life. All my family are huge United fans. My dad hasn’t missed a game for years at Old Trafford. He wouldn’t even miss a United match to come and watch me play at Sunderland. So it has always been a dream to play at Manchester United.
May 7th 2010: I’ve supported Manchester United all my life and it’s a great honour to be able to wear the badge of this great club.
May 25th 2010: By the end of the four years, I would like to be a regular and one of the first names on the team sheet. I want to improve and become better so you have to put more pressure on yourself to perform consistently and be a more important figure in the team.
December 1st 2011: Before the game I was delighted to be given the armband, but I’d happily take that away to have the victory instead. It’s good that the manager plays the younger lads, but unfortunately we’ve not managed to get the result. My first game was in the Carling Cup and it didn’t turn out as well as we expected, but the lads have got to keep focused and work hard on their games.
September 22nd 2012: The history of the two clubs makes it one of the biggest games in English football. There is goodness knows how many years of rivalry to take into account as well. We haven’t had great results away at Liverpool in the last couple of years so it’s up to us to put that right. It’s always a big occasion but one every Manchester United player relishes. It’s something you never forget with the atmosphere and the stick you get as well. It’s all part of it. We enjoy that side of it and it’s going to be a really big game.
September 26th 2012: Last year, I was captain of the team that got beaten by Crystal Palace. Although I don’t like saying that! It was an honour to be captain but we lost that game. It was quite a young side we had out that night but I’m sure the manager will juggle it and make sure he picks a team that can win the tie. We won the League Cup two years in a row not that long ago, because it was along the lines of the manager giving the young lads a chance and, to be fair, he did stick with it all along the way. It was the first trophy I won at the club and he stuck with the young players that time. I’m 24 now and I just feel like I’ve gained a lot of experience over the last couple of years. Hopefully I can pass that on.
April 24th 2014: My first recollections of Manchester United would be going way back, probably in my granny’s house having these little figures of United players. Even before that, I got a United poster for Christmas when I was five years old. My bedroom was all done out in Manchester United stuff: bed covers, posters… so it goes back to when I was just a kid.
When I was nine years old, a scout had come over to watch me play in Northern Ireland and asked me if I wanted to join the Manchester United centre of excellence. So, for me, that was a massive thing. Even though I was only nine and I was getting really excited. He was telling me that there’s still so much to go. Then, when I was maybe 10, I made my first trip to Manchester. I travelled over on every school holiday and it was great at the time. I moved across with my family when I was 15 and I think that was the start of it, when I moved to England. It’s been 11 years now, it’s been a long experience but it feels like yesterday.
It’s hard to put into words exactly what Manchester United means to me. From a young age, I was fanatical about United and I used to cry when the team lost. That’s how much it meant as a kid. Now I feel really privileged to pull on the shirt and go out there and try to make a difference and represent the fans on the pitch.
April 25th 2014: When you look back at the players who have represented Manchester United, some great players, that drives you to want to be mentioned in the same bracket. Also, being part of good teams helps. I grew up watching the teams that Sir Alex Ferguson built over the years, so to be a part of that was a great feeling. It’s also about winning trophies because it’s winning things that goes down in history. You feel the responsibility of playing for United every time you pull on the shirt. It’s kind of strange because you grow up as a fan but, as soon as you become a player, you kind of feel on the other side of it. You are representing the club on the pitch; you’re still a fan but it’s from a totally different perspective. You’ve got to try to make the fans happy as well as the manager and do your job for the club. As a footballer, though, the day you retire, I think you go back to being a fan like everyone else.