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Football

How The Seven Players Sir Alex Ferguson Praised In 2001 Got On

Ryan Sidle

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How The Seven Players Sir Alex Ferguson Praised In 2001 Got On

In 2001, not long after Manchester United had completed a third Premier League title win in-a-row, Sir Alex Ferguson named seven players in his youth side that stood out.

The legendary United boss had brought through the famous Class of 92, along with other young players, and he was eyeing up the next generation.

Speaking after his latest title Fergie told the club website, "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."

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Fletcher would become one of the most important players for Fergie making 342 appearances for the club, even outlasting his fellow Scot, and winning five league titles, an FA Cup, League Cup and Champions League.

Fellow central midfielder and Scot, Stewart didn't have the career at Old Trafford that Fletcher did but he still had a decent career as a professional footballer.

The Edinburgh born player returned to his home city and had spells at both clubs in the Scottish capital, playing over 100 times for Hearts over two spells and 54 games for Hibernian and earned four caps for his country.

Winger Chadwick appeared 16 times for the Red Devils in the 2000/01 title winning season, earning himself a medal, and made 38 appearances in all competitions for the team. He played six season in the Championship across several clubs, some on loan, but really made a name for himself in League One with MK Dons, making 246 appearances for the club.

John O'Shea became a cult hero at United. The Irishman won similar silverware to former teammate Fletcher, made 393 appearances for the club, played in every position, including as a goalkeeper, and earned 118 caps for his country.

Fletcher and O'Shea had great careers at United. Image: PA Images
Fletcher and O'Shea had great careers at United. Image: PA Images

Tierney, brother of former Norwich City player Marc, never played for United but did play for several clubs lower down the football ladder and played in Scotland with Livingston and was part of the Blackpool squad who got promoted to the Championship in 2007.

Pugh made only one league appearance for Ferguson's team but was used as part of the deal that saw Alan Smith sign from Leeds United. He had notable spells with Leeds, Preston North End and Stoke City in the Championship, also playing in the Premier League for the Potters, and is now a player/coach at League Two Port Vale.

Richardson won the 2006/07 Premier League with Fergie and was a substitute in the League Cup final win against Wigan in 2006, and played 81 times for United. He had a huge impact in helping West Brom becoming the first team to avoid relegation having been bottom at Christmas whilst on loan.

Richardson played for England. Image: PA Images
Richardson played for England. Image: PA Images

The Englishman made eight appearances for the Three Lions, scoring twice on debut, and played over 250 times in the Premier League for United, West Brom, Sunderland, Fulham and Aston Villa, reaching the FA Cup final with the Villans.

All seven had decent careers within football and Fletcher and O'Shea both made huge impacts at United and considering the percentage of players who ever make it at the top that's a pretty decent ratio for Fergie.

Topics: Football News, Manchester United, Sir Alex Ferguson, Premier League, John O'Shea, Darren Fletcher

Ryan Sidle
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