While the Manchester United Class of ’92 may live long in the memory, many of the esteemed players may be unrecognisable now. The passage of time rendered one United star in particular incognito.
Red Devils fans were left dumbfounded by a photo shared on Twitter by a United legend – an enormous beard completely disguised one star.
The Red Devils legend shared the photo celebrating Manchester United’s first Premier League Title, won 30 years ago (via The Daily Mail).
By spearheading one of United’s most dominant periods of football, the team of 1992-93 wrote themselves into the history books. However, three decades on and seasons out of the limelight, many of these players are challenging to recognise.
Earlier in the month, one of the United legends was spotted in a Manchester pub sharing a pint with a fan. His massive whiskers left fans flabbergasted. It was Brian McClair, the former Red Devils forward and the first player since George Best to score 20 league goals for United.
Lee Sharpe was the Class of ’92 legend who shared the photo of Saturday’s reunion. The image featured Sharpe and eight ex-teammates, including Bryan Robson, Clayton Blackmore, Mike Phelan, Gary Pallister, Brian McClair, Mark Hughes, Denis Irwin, and Paul Parker.
Life after the pitch
Sir Alex Ferguson was the first manager to win the Premier League Title, and his captain was the legendary Robson. Robsons captained the side for 12 years and the Three Lions 65 times. He left the Red Devils in 1994 and was later voted the greatest United player in 2011.
Hughes is currently in ninth place on the club’s all-time goalscorers list – he scored 163 times in 467 games. Similarly, Irwin is ninth for most appearances for United with 529. David de Gea is hot on Irwin’s heels, with only 17 games separating the two.
Robson, Phelan, and Hughes all returned to the field but as coaches after their respective retirements. Blackmore also had a career in football management. However, it lasted just two appointments.
Sharpe was the group’s wild card and opted for an entirely different sport. The backline legend started competing in professional golf tournaments in 2021.
Back to Old Trafford
Phelan and McClair both took up roles at Old Trafford after retirement. Phelan had two spells as the first team’s assistant manager, while McClair spent nine years as Director of the Youth Academy.
Many will remember the treble-winning Class of ’99, but the Class of ’92 paved the way. Irwin was the only team member of the 1992-93 side who played for both groups of legends.
Manchester United fans the world over will always cherish the Class of ’92. They lifted the Premier League trophy for the Red Devils in May 1993 to make a 26-year dream of finishing first in top-flight football a reality.
Since then, Manchester United have won a record 12 more titles. Erik ten Hag’s men have recaptured the grit, camaraderie, and ambition of former great sides like the Class of ’92.
A Premier League trophy may be out of reach this season, but the side has all the makings of a team that could challenge for the top spot next campaign.