Neville & Beckham lead tributes to Man Utd ‘mentor’ as Class of ’92 coach Eric Harrison passes away aged 81

Gary Neville and David Beckham have led the tributes to Eric Harrison after the Manchester United coach who developed the famed Class of ‘92 passed away at the age of 81.

As the man credited with bringing through a generation of talent which would star within a trophy-laden era of success for the Red Devils, Harrison’s impact at Old Trafford cannot be understated.

He joined the ranks at United in 1981.

Having been a lower league player at the likes of Halifax, Hartlepool, Barrow and Southport, Harrison was handed the reins of the Red Devils’ youth team.

Few could have predicted the impact that he would make on first-team affairs.

The arrival of Sir Alex Ferguson as United manager in 1986 saw the scouting network at Old Trafford revamped.

There was plenty of talent to be found on the club’s doorstep, with a number of home-grown stars joining the ranks.

Gary Neville, Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt and Phil Neville were all local lads who would go on to enjoy iconic careers with United and England.

David Beckham would do likewise, with a Red Devils supporter lured to Old Trafford to form part of a golden generation.

Together, those who have been reunited as co-owners of Salford City, savoured FA Youth Cup success in 1992.

Ryan Giggs and Robbie Savage, two future Wales internationals, also formed part of that side. Scholes, Phil Neville and Keith Gillespie joined them a year later as another final was reached.

The Youth Cup crown was captured again in 1995, with Neville as captain, and senior recognition would not be far away.

Harrison had moulded players of obvious potential into stars who would taste Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League success.

Gary Neville has posted on Twitter after learning of his passing: “We’ve lost our mentor, our coach and the man who made us.

“He taught us how to play, how to never give up, how important it was to win your individual battles and what we needed to do to play for Manchester United Football Club.

“Eric we owe you everything.”

Beckham added on Instagram: “We’ve lost our mentor, our coach and the man who made us.

“He taught us how to play, how to never give up, how important it was to win your individual battles and what we needed to do to play for Manchester United Football Club.

“He was always watching and always with us everytime we played, I can still hear him telling me NO MORE HOLLYWOOD PASSES.

“I can still see him as we played on The Cliff training ground looking down on us either with a proud smile or a loud bang of his fist on the window knowing any minute he would be on his way down to probably advise me in the most polite way to stop playing those passes.

“More importantly he made us understand how to work hard and respect each other and not just on the pitch. We won’t forget the life lessons he gave us. Eric we love you and owe you everything.”

 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

We’ve lost our mentor, our coach and the man who made us. He taught us how to play, how to never give up, how important it was to win your individual battles and what we needed to do to play for Manchester United Football Club. He was always watching and always with us everytime we played, I can still hear him telling me NO MORE HOLLYWOOD PASSES. I can still see him as we played on The Cliff training ground looking down on us either with a proud smile or a loud bang of his fist on the window knowing any minute he would be on his way down to probably advise me in the most polite way to stop playing those passes. More importantly he made us understand how to work hard and respect each other and not just on the pitch. We won’t forget the life lessons he gave us. Eric we love you and owe you everything. ❤ Gary, Phil, Ryan, Paul, Nicky and David.

A post shared by David Beckham (@davidbeckham) on

Harrison also coached the likes of Mark Hughes, Norman Whiteside and Clayton Blackmore as they made their way through the youth system at Old Trafford.

In total, he spent 27 years with the Red Devils and was awarded the MBE in December 2017.

Let’s block ads!