“I wasn’t too dissimilar to David Beckham in that respect because we’d both moved from London to Manchester as youngsters.”
Chris Eagles has revealed he was one of Alex Ferguson’s favourite Manchester United youth players, while also comparing his journey to David Beckham.
Eagles was at the club between 2003 and 2008, making 17 appearances for the first-team during that time.
The 35-year-old has shared some of his memories from his time at Old Trafford, including early comparisons to club legend Beckham.
“I went up there for a game and just fell in love with the club. I moved into digs at 14 and at first, I was obviously excited because it was like a holiday to me. I loved Manchester, I love northerners,” Eagles told Ladbrokes.
“School was difficult because I was a southerner, but training-wise we used to train on Tuesdays and Thursdays and play on Saturdays.
“My youth team was frightening, we didn’t lose. In the old days, we had myself, Phil Bardsley, Luke Steele, Kieran Richardson, Tom Heaton, Paul McShane, Gerard Pique, Giuseppe Rossi.
“Sir Alex Ferguson had a lot of involvement with me as a kid because he knew I’d moved away from home. I wasn’t too dissimilar to David Beckham in that respect because we’d both moved from London to Manchester as youngsters.”
The former Man United youth player eventually moved to Burnley after a number of unsuccessful loan spells.
However, he paid tribute to former manager Ferguson who he revealed held him in high regard, along with a couple of other youth players, despite some off-field incidents.
“Sir Alex had his certain players like me, Darren Fletcher and Kieran Richardson who he had soft spots for,” Eagles continued.
“If I was ever in trouble, he’d tell me off, though. I drove a car somewhere when I was 15 and Sir Alex found out about it and called me in his office. I was petrified.
“It’s the worst experience ever because you don’t know what he’s going to do. I can remember standing outside of his office, sweating, going red.
“He used to have a folder where he used to keep his notes. It was a hard-back. Every time he walked past me he used to just slap me on the head with it – all in good humour obviously.
“He was just a great manager, a great guy, and that’s how he got his respect.”