Woe betide the Manchester United manager who doesn’t keep the Reds’ famous run going.
It seems unlikely – the last head honcho not to name an academy product in a first-team squad was Scott Duncan back in 1937, when United were relegated back to the Second Division and their beleaguered gaffer hot-footed it to Ipswich (where he stayed for 18 years, so fair enough really).
But it wasn’t all bad: thereafter, the Manchester United Junior Athletic Club was born – a brainwave from chairman James Gibson and club secretary Walter Crickmer, who were overseeing a financial struggle and need a viable plan for the future. Over 80 years on, it’s fair to say the pair would have approved of how things turned out.
Manchester United’s academy has become one of the most productive in the world, spawning Champions League triumphs and World Cup winners. Even for the many who didn’t make the grade at Old Trafford, prosperous careers in English football and beyond have followed.
For today’s quiz, we’re looking for the 50 ex-United kids who have played most frequently in the Premier League – ranging from those who spent their entire careers with English football’s most successful side, to some who didn’t even get to kick a ball for the Reds. To qualify, they must have spent at least three years in United’s academy and/or played a first-team game during their time there. Good luck!
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