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What happened to the nine-year-old who signed for Man Utd after scouts watched DVD of his skills

What happened to the nine-year-old who signed for Man Utd after scouts watched DVD of his skills

It was a transfer like no other at the time.

Manchester United once signed a nine-year-old footballer off the back of seeing his compilation video - but what has happened to the player now?

Nowadays, the Internet is flooded with stories of young academy prospects who are tipped to become the next Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo, while any spectacular moment at amateur levels will quickly go viral.

Back in 2007, though, things were slightly different. YouTube had only been founded two years earlier in the United States, while you might struggle to find many people who knew what Twitter was. The closest you got to TikTok was waiting another two years for Kesha to release her hit song.

The best way to get a top club to notice you was either by chance - an encounter at a local game, for instance - or by sending a DVD directly to the club in the hope that they would see it.

While some managers might not always get back to young players, there are plenty of stories of Sir Alex Ferguson doing exactly the opposite.

An 18-year-old, newly released by Macclesfield, once delivered his own compilation DVD directly to Ferguson's home address in Wilmslow - with the United boss promising to watch it.

The Scot did just that, and subsequently invited the player for a trial.

In the case of Davis, his grandad sent over a DVD of the nine-year-old playing football in Brisbane, Australia, where his family was living at the time.

United scouts watched the videos, invited him to participate in several training sessions and then offered him a contract.

Davis would play in the same age group as Marcus Rashford, telling The Athletic in 2023 that the future United and England star was 'the standout and always has been'.

The midfielder continued to work his way up through the youth ranks, but then suffered a broken leg when he was 14 years old.

Davis described the injury as a 'turning point' as far as United's subsequent decision not to give him a scholarship contract at 15, but also added: "It was all up in the air, and what is to say I would get one? I probably wasn't going to. But it didn't help the process and it didn't help me going on to look elsewhere."

After working his way back to full fitness, Davis decided to focus on his education and went to university, where he studied business and economics in Sheffield.

Although he now works full-time in finance, the midfielder - who is now 26 - has remained in football, and is still based in Lancashire.

After a spell with Altrincham, Davis has most recently been playing his club football for Manchester-based West Didsbury & Chorlton, who play in the North West Counties League Premier Division.

The club has been home to a number of high-profile players over recent years, including current Bolton winger Carlos Mendes Gomes and Gibraltar international Jack Sargeant.

Last week, he signed for divisional rivals Cheadle Town, who finished a position above the midfielder's former club last season.


On his current life, Davis told The Athletic: "Things didn't turn out how I wished for at United, but I wouldn't change it for the world.

"People still make tongue-in-cheek comments [about the YouTube video] in passing, but nothing like they used to!

"One kid used to call me wonderkid... it is all fun and games."

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Featured Image Credit: Getty / Manchester United Football Club

Topics: Manchester United, Football, Sir Alex Ferguson, Marcus Rashford, YouTube, Transfers, Non-League