The team backed by Manchester United and Premier League legends David Beckham, Gary Neville, Phil Neville, Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs and Nicky Butt, plus billionaire Peter Lim, won promotion to League Two on Saturday at Wembley Stadium.
Salford beat AFC Fylde 3-0 in the National League playoff final to clinch their first-ever promotion to the fourth-tier of English soccer. Head coach Graham Alexander took over last summer and was handed a huge budget to guide Salford to promotion.
Mani Dieseruvwe, Carl Piergianni and Ibou Touray scored the goals for Salford, as their incredible rise continues and the United legends celebrated in the stands at Wembley at the final whistle.
Backed by Lim’s money and the expertise and contacts of Neville and Co. behind-the-scenes, Salford have achieved four promotions in the last five seasons to secure their spot as one of the 92 Football League teams for the 2019-20 season.
Salford’s aim is to at least reach the Championship, the second-tier of English soccer, as the Lancashire club aim to become one of the best supported teams in the Manchester area as they offer something completely different to the giants of Man United and Man City nearby.
David Beckham has now bought into the English fifth-tier club, subject to FA approval, meaning the celebrated United class now has a stake in Salford City with the club fighting for its first promotion into the Football League.
“The Ammies” have been promoted three times since being taken over by Ryan Giggs, Phil Neville, Nicky Butt, Paul Scholes, and Gary Neville. Beckham is the owner of Inter Miami CF, expected to debut in Major League Soccer in 2020.
“From the very beginning we wanted David to be involved and be with us on this incredible journey however circumstances and commitments didn’t allow that. Now the time is right and is another exciting time in Salford City’s history.
“It is important to emphasize that nothing will change in the day to day operations of the club but to have us all together was always the vision. We grew up in Salford, carved our careers here and that’s why we are doing what we are doing at Salford City.”
Salford City is a point back of the National League leaders Leyton Orient. First place gets automatic promotion to League Two, while second through seventh take part in the promotion playoffs.
The club does employ a Rooney, Adam, but the Irish striker is not related to Wayne.
Never heard of Salford City FC? There used to be a reason for that. The semi-professional club from Greater Manchester plays at the eighth level of the English pyramid, with its home ground (Moor Lane) holding only 1400 people. Unless you’re from the area, someone who supports a club that’s drawn them in the FA Cup, or an absolute English soccer addict, there’s no reason the Ammies should have been on your radar.
At least, there was no reason until today, because as of late evening England time, Salford City have some of the most famous owners in Greater Manchester, with a quintet of former Manchester United players having agreed to purchase the club. Pending FA approval, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt, and soccer’s Neville brothers (Gary and Phil) will take over ownership of a non-league club that finished last season 192nd in the English table. The deal is expected to be completed this summer.
All five players came through the United system together in the early 90s, with some having direct links to Salford City. Ryan Giggs, who moved to Salford from Wales as a six-year-old, considers his hometown club:
“Everyone knows how important Salford is to me, so this is an exciting acquisition that is right at the heart of what we all believe in,” said Giggs, according to ITV.
Gary Neville, who enjoyed a 19-year career with United, also has a personal connection to Salford.
“I had my first trial for Manchester United in Salford at age 11,” Neville said, “and I will never forget how important that was to me.”
Beyond those personal connections, the importance of developing young talent was cited as a motivation by both Giggs and Phil Neville.
“It is important to safeguard the hard work that is done in the lower leagues,” Neville explained, “and it is going to be exciting to be able to feed our experience into the young players.”
ITV has more (and ongoing) coverage of a story broken by its own Ian Payne, one which already has Salford fans excited about their new future:
A new documentary is about to take the soccer world by storm, so make sure you take a sneak peak now.
As the inspirational clip above shows, a golden generation of soccer stars were unearthed at Manchester United back in 1992. Six youngsters – David Beckham, Nicky Butt, Ryan Giggs, Gary Neville, Phil Neville and Paul Scholes – set tongues wagging and then all went on to become stars for one of the worlds biggest teams.
This superb documentary, put together by brothers Gabe and Ben Turner, highlights the journey Beckham and co. went on from their early days at United and throughout their glittering careers for club and country. It is a tale of friendship and joy as the gang of six share their experiences on the dramatic rise from youth team hopefuls in ’92 to lifting the Champions League trophy in 1999.
If you want to get your hands on the film, it will be released on DVD from December 2 and shown across cinemas in the UK and Ireland from December 1. I’ll definitely be picking up a copy, as the story of one of the greatest group of players to be produced through the same youth system is one you can’t help but reminiscence about.
Even if you don’t support Manchester United, this documentary will leave you feeling all warm and fuzzy inside.
22 years to the day that they signed their first professional contracts in 1991, six Manchester United stars met up for a reunion in Manchester, with superstar David Beckham leading the way.
Known as ‘Fergie’s Fledglings” as they all came from the United youth setup and into Sir Alex Ferguson’s first team together, David Beckham, brothers Gary and Phil Neville, Ryan Giggs, Nicky Butt and Paul Scholes rolled back the years as they hit the town for a night out in Manchester.
All six will go down as greats of the famous English club, as well as carving out top careers on the international stage.
But it is quite amazing to see all the players getting on so well, 22 years after they first came together.
So here is the rundown on what the class of ’92 are up to now, in case you didn’t know.
Beckham has just retired this season, obviously you knew that, so did Phil Neville and Paul Scholes who were both offered the role of assisting David Moyes at United. Phil Neville took that offer but Scholes decided he wanted a break, as he famously enjoys his life in the shadows. (In fact I don’t think anyone outside of the United locker room has ever heard him talk longer than 30 second since 1991. Seriously.)
Then there is former United captain Gary Neville, who is carving out a superb career for himself as a soccer pundit for Sky Sports. While Nicky Butt retired a few years back but is United’s current reserve team coach. And then there is Ryan Giggs, who began playing in United’s first-team before them all and is still planning to do this season, while also taking on a role as player-coach for Moyes.
Just incredible. So will we ever see a youth team like this again? It will take some beating.
Between these six players seen going out for a casual stroll on the cobbled streets of Manchester (pictured, left) they’ve amassed 428 international appearances. If you put all their medals together you would have 132 and the list of incredible achievements just goes on.
And the incredible thing is that all of them are still enraptured by the indomitable pull of Manchester United. Despite all that time spent at the club and all they have given, they can’t wait to give something back.
The Nevile brothers are heavily involved, Phil more so now with his coaching role. Butt manages the reserve squad, Scholes will no doubt be involved at some point, Giggs is a player-coach and I wouldn’t bet against Beckham returning in an ambassadorial role one day.
Whatever happens, 22 years on, seeing these six men grouped together brings memories of United dominance flooding back. Whether you are a Manchester United fan or not, you have to marvel at the incredible things these six fellows achieved in their playing career.