What happened to the seven Man Utd prospects Sir Alex Ferguson called 'terrific' and tipped for greatness
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Sir Alex Ferguson once tipped seven 'terrific' Manchester United youngsters for greatness - but where are they now?
The legendary Red Devils manager is often praised for blooding youth during his time in the Old Trafford dugout, making academy graduates a vital part of every team he built.
He nurtured the 'Class of 92', who all contributed to United's legendary treble win in 1998/1999.
Ferguson also knew when to rebuild and look towards the future. That's exactly what he did in 2001.
Speaking shortly after clinching a seventh Premier League title, Ferguson named who he thought would become future superstars.
He said: "We've got some terrific prospects at Old Trafford.
"Darren Fletcher, who we hope will get over his broken leg, is good. Michael Stewart and Luke Chadwick are doing very well, and John O'Shea's doing well too. There's a young left back called Paul Tierney who's doing well, as is Danny Pugh.
"But there's a young boy who has started now, he's 16, called Kieran Richardson. He's going to be a fantastic player."
Some of those names will be familiar, while a couple will be news to even the most die-hard United supporters. Let's see what happened to them.
Undoubtedly, the most successful name on this list. Fletcher spent 12 years at the club, winning five Premier League titles and the Champions League in 2008.
Ferguson swore down the phone at the future Scotland international to convince him to join the club. It was definitely worth it.
He left United for West Bromwich Albion in 2015 and eventually retired at Stoke City. Fletcher returned to United as an Under 16s coach in 2020 and is now the club's Technical Director.
A Scottish midfielder like Fletcher, Stewart found game time hard to come by before joining Hibernian in 2005. He'd later spend time at bitter rivals Hearts and earn four caps for his country.
If you're a fan of the Scottish Premiership, chances are you've seen Stewart working as a pundit on BBC or TNT Sports.
Chadwick won the Premier League in 2001 and looked destined for big things. Sadly, it didn't pan out, but he forged a successful career in the lower leagues.
He spent time with West Ham United, Stoke City, Norwich City, and Cambridge United. Chadwick became a Cambridge hero after helping them achieve promotion to League Two in 2014. He's now involved with 'Football Fun'.
O'Shea played in every position during 12 trophy-laden seasons in Manchester. If you think we're kidding, find footage of him chipping Arsenal goalkeeper Manuel Almunia at Highbury. What a finish. Then find him fill in as a goalkeeper away at Tottenham Hotspur. What a performance.
The ex-Republic of Ireland defender is now a first-team coach at Birmingham City alongside Wayne Rooney.
Tierney's sole game came in a 2-0 League Cup defeat to West Bromwich Albion. The full-back played for Livingston, Blackpool, Stockport County and Altrincham and stepped away from the game in 2009.
Away from the pitch, the 41-year-old is now Council Tax Team Leader for Salford City Council.
Pugh left United in 2004 and spent his time in the top two divisions. He retired in 2020 and was most recently Stoke City's U18 Player Care Officer. Pugh is also a UEFA A Licensed Football Coach.
Richardson won the Carabao Cup and Premier League at United. Not a bad haul for 81 appearances. He also scored a brace on his England debut, a 2-1 win over the United States in 2005.
He's since retired and become a luxury watch dealer. Interestingly, Richardson is an Arsenal fan and knocked the Gunners out of the FA Cup with a goal for Sunderland in 2012.