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Sir Alex Ferguson convinced Class of ’92 star to join Man Utd over game of snooker

It’s well known that Sir Alex Ferguson built his legacy with the Class of ‘92 but he got all the players to join up with Manchester United through various methods.

John O’Kane was playing grassroots in Nottingham when he was initially spotted by Nobby Stiles.

The former England World Cup winner then led the defender to Ferguson, who persuaded him to join the club while playing a game of snooker.

O’Kane recalled to Goal: “I came from Nottingham but Sir Alex got me after he invited me to his home. There was this surreal experience of us having a game of snooker together before we went to a game against Arsenal.”



John O'Kane for Man United
John O’Kane only made a handful of appearences for Manchester United

The former Untied player, who’s now 47, never got his career off the ground at Old Trafford.

It was Gary Neville who ended up taking his place in the right-back position and the Midlands former player only made seven professional appearances for the Red Devils.

Despite this, he remained with the northwest club until 1998, when Everton bought him while they were presided by Howard Kendall.

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David Beckham and John O'Kane
Some of the Class of ’92 hit stardom

But when Kendall was sacked and Walter Smith was brought into Goodison Park, O’Kane lost his spot and had to be shipped out. He played for Bolton, Blackpool, and then Hyde Untied, his final club before retiring.

Speaking to the Manchester Evening News recently, O’Kane conceded that it was his work ethic that saw Neville come ahead of him: “I was deemed as having the better technique over Gary.

“I’m not being big-headed but I was a better player than him at the time. But he just had a different make-up to me.



The Class of '92
The Class of ’92 in full

“’He lived, breathed football and I didn’t. That was the difference. I relied on my skill to get me where I had to be but to stay at the top you do need the 100 per cent dedication.

“I turned it on when I wanted, but didn’t have that attitude.”




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