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The moment Gary Neville realised his Man Utd career was over after 'deeply uncomfortable' incident

The moment Gary Neville realised his Man Utd career was over after 'deeply uncomfortable' incident

Gary Neville has opened up on the moment he knew his Manchester United career was coming to an end following an uncomfortable moment.

Gary Neville is widely regarded as one of the greatest Premier League defenders of all time, but the now Sky Sports pundit and Dragon recalled the moment he knew his playing career was coming to an end.

Neville was part of the famous class of 92 at Manchester United and went on to make 602 appearances and seven goals for his boyhood club before eventually hanging up his boots in 2011.

The Englishman was pivotal for United during their highest highs under Sir Alex Ferguson, winning the treble in 1999 and captaining the club to the Premier League title.

Neville's longevity in the Premier League despite injury woes is extremely impressive, but all good things must come to an end and that was the case for Neville in the 2010/11 season.

On New Year's Day in 2011, at West Brom, 35-year-old Neville earned his first start for Manchester United in two months.

In his autobiography, the former United captain recalled this match as the moment he realised he might not be cut out for the high levels of the Premier League anymore.

Neville candidly described his deeply uncomfortable 71-minute performance against West Brom winger Jerome Thomas, claiming he made Thomas look like Cristiano Ronaldo.

Neville admits he was fortunate to avoid being sent off during the match.

Neville reminisced about a moment when Mike Phelan, United's assistant manager at the time, casually approached for a brief chat as the ball rolled out of play near the dugouts.

“You’re f***ed, aren’t you?” Phelan said.

Neville nodded.

Thomas, who boasts over 150 appearances in the Premier League for four different clubs, vividly recalls that particular game and the subsequent comments made by Neville.

“I guess that was how Gary rationalised it because he was on his way out and he didn’t feel he was at his best,” Thomas said.

Neville against West Brom - Getty
Neville against West Brom - Getty

“I don’t want this to come across the wrong way, because Gary Neville is a legend, but what he doesn’t realise is he wasn’t the only person I was doing that to. As a left-winger, I would go into every game with the goal to either get the right-back sent off or subbed," Thomas recalled.

Neville subsequently retired on the 2nd of February 2011.

Featured Image Credit: Sky Sports, Getty

Topics: Gary Neville, Manchester United, Football, Premier League