David Beckham explains what Gary Neville used to watch before Man Utd games
David Beckham has revealed that Gary Neville used to watch cricket 'all of the time' in the hotel before Manchester United matches.
Neville, 48, was a multi-talented sportsman in his teenage years and once delivered a 200 not-out batting masterclass for Greenmount Cricket Club. It came back in 1992 as Neville and Australian legend Matthew Hayden helped Greenmount bounce back from being reduced to 42-2.
The ex-England international, who was 17 at the time, scored 110 not out while Hayden ended unbeaten on 140. Later that year, Neville then made his first-team debut at United during a UEFA Cup match against Torpedo Moscow - and it's safe to say the rest is history.
He was told he was no longer allowed to play cricket as Neville's footballing career took off, with the right-back featuring 27 times during the 1994/95 campaign. However, despite not being able to play it anymore, Neville's love for cricket didn't change one bit.
Former teammate Beckham, who came through the United academy at the same time as Neville, has admitted the Sky Sports pundit used to watch cricket in the hotel. "I had a little go yesterday but these kids must be watching and thinking 'what are you doing'," Beckham told Sky Sports while at India's World Cup semi-final game against New Zealand in Mumbai.
"But I enjoyed it and they started singing to hit a six, so I had to and I lost the ball. The Neville brothers were big cricketers and I had to room with Gary for a long time, so all that was on TV was cricket."
Neville opened up on his relationship with cricket back in 2018 and highlighted that infamous partnership with Hayden. He told the Guardian: "Did you know I had a partnership with Matt Hayden at club level, 200-odd? I’ll tell you what I remember, nearly losing the b****** game.
"I hit a bad shot, Hayden came up to me and said: 'Concentrate, I don't want any of that c*** - this is not the time.' That mentality of: 'You don't give your wicket away'.
"That was something I didn't value enough. He did. Even then. He could actually just flick it off his legs for six, just glide it, and you'd be like: 'Hang on a minute, how's that ended up in the trees?'"
"Cricket toughened me up in my early years a lot more than football," Neville, who made 602 senior appearances for United, added. "From a very young age, you’re playing against men. It was scary."
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