SIR ALEX FERGUSON helped to produce some top talents during his 26-year tenure at Manchester United.
And in 2001, shortly after winning his seventh league title, Ferguson tipped seven stars for greatness.
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.”
While some went on to become United icons, others went on to enjoy time elsewhere in England and Scotland.
But what happened to them all?
The midfielder joined United’s academy at the age of 11 and signed his first contract four years later.
Fletcher made his first team debut in 2003 and went on to spend 12 years at Old Trafford, winning five Premier League titles, three League Cups, an FA Cup and a Champions League title.
After leaving Man Utd he enjoys spells with West Brom and Stoke City before retiring in 2020.
The former Scotland international is now technical director at Old Trafford.Darren Fletcher won several trophies with the Red Devils and is now technical director at Old Trafford[/caption]
The midfielder signed his first professional contract with Man Utd in 1998, but found game time hard to come by.
He made just 14 senior appearances before leaving in 2005 to join Hibernian.
Stewart went on to spend time with Hearts, Turkish side Gençlerbirliği SK and Charlton before retiring in 2011.
The 42-year-old now works as a pundit on BBC and TNT Sports, usually covering the Scottish Premiership.Michael Stewart made 14 appearances for the Red Devils[/caption]
Chadwick made his professional debut for the Red Devils in 1999 against Aston Villa.
However, he struggled to establish himself as a regular first team player and was subsequently loaned out five times – twice to Royal Antwerp, twice to Reading and once to Burnley.
The midfielder eventually left Old Trafford in 2004 after making 38 appearances.
He went on to play for West Ham, Stoke, Norwich, MK Dons, Cambridge United and non-league side Soham Town Rangers before retiring in 2016.
Chadwick is now involved with Football Fun, a program that aims to help young children enjoy the sport.Luke Chadwick left Man Utd in 2004[/caption]
O’Shea signed his first professional contract for Man Utd at the age of 17 and made his first team debut in a League Cup defeat to Aston Villa in 1999 – at the same time as Chadwick.
The defender went on to win five Premier League titles, the Champions League and the FA Cup with the Red Devils before leaving in 2011.
He then went on to play for Sunderland and Reading.
After retiring from football in 2019 O’Shea turned to coaching and has since worked with Reading, Republic of Ireland and Stoke.
He is now Wayne Rooney’s assistant at Birmingham City.John O’Shea enjoyed a successful career with Man Utd[/caption]
The full-back signed his first professional contract with Man Utd in 2000, but struggled to break into the first team.
His first, and only, appearance for the Red Devils came in a League Cup defeat to West Brom in 2003.
Following several loan spells, he was eventually sold to Livingston in 2005 and also went on to play for Blackpool, Stockport and Altrincham.
He stepped away from football in 2009 and is now a Council Tax Team Leader for Salford City Council.
Pugh made his Man Utd debut in a Champions League group stage match against Maccabi Haifa in 2002, just a matter or days before his first Premier League appearance.
He was limited to just seven senior appearances for United before joining Leeds.
The midfielder then went on to play for nine different clubs across the English football pyramid.
He is now a UEFA A Licensed Football Coach.
Ferguson predicted that Richardson would become a “fantastic player” back in 2001.
The winger and midfielder went on to win two Premier League titles and the FA Cup with United, making 81 appearances and scoring 11 goals.
He left Old Trafford to sign for Sunderland in 2007, five years after making his professional debut.
Richardson went on to play for Fulham, Aston Villa and Cardiff before retiring in 2016.
He is now a luxury watch dealer.Ferguson predicted that Richardson would become a ‘fantastic player’[/caption]