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Gary Neville Reveals His Bizarre Pre Match Rituals

Gary Neville Reveals His Bizarre Pre Match Rituals

Superstitious Gary Neville's bizarre pre-match rituals included sitting on the toilet with the lid down with his kit on while he read the programme and zigzag sprints off the pitch in training.

Neville spent his entire career at Manchester United, winning 20 trophies, including eight Premier League titles and two Champions Leagues.

His strong work ethic and mentality were among his key attributes and the former England right-back has revealed just how obsessive he was in terms of his pre-match routines - which varied from sitting on the very same toilet to having massages on his back when he didn't need them.

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"I sat in the players' lounge toilets - the same cubicle - for 15 minutes," Neville revealed to UTD Unscripted.

"When the boss finished his team-talk, I'd get my kit on and sit on the toilet, with the lid down, and read the programme in complete peace for 15 minutes. Tranquillity. I did that every game.

"I used to have two tie-ups that you were supposed to cut with bandage scissors, but I always cut them with normal scissors because I couldn't cut them with those weird scissors. Stupid things like that through my career had to be right.

"Even on the day before a game, coming off the training pitch on the day before the game, I used to zigzag sprint off the pitch. Every Friday.

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"At 17, I just knew I had to have a massage on my lower back. I didn't even have a bad back. The physio, Jim McGregor, hated it."

Image: PA
Image: PA

Neville also recalled the moment he pulled on the United shirt for the first time and feeling almost emotional despite his only contribution in the game being a throw-in.

Image: PA
Image: PA
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Bizarre Pre-Match Clip Of Gary Neville And Martin Tyler Leaves Viewers Baffled
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"It was a massive moment for me. It feels such a long time ago. Well, it is a long time ago. Over 25 years. And it was a throw-in," Neville added.

"My debut was a throw-in against Torpedo Moscow. That was it. I didn't touch the ball with my feet. I don't know if that was the only time that's ever happened. It typified my career, actually!"

Featured Image Credit: PA

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

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Josh Lawless

Josh is a writer who specialises in football and wrestling. He has been published by Curzon Ashton FC, Late Tackle, Manchester City FC, The Mirror, Read Man City and Manchester Evening News. He provides coverage of professional wrestling and has interviewed some of the biggest names in the field - including the first UK interview with The Hardy Boyz after their return to WWE. He has never sported a pair of Lonsdale Slip-ons, contrary to reports.