Manchester United’s illustrious history has seen some of the world’s greatest player’s pull on the famous red shirt to represent the club down the years.
A host of stars from around the globe have been lucky enough to call Old Trafford home and one, perhaps lesser known name, has been reminiscing about his journey to Manchester.
As reported by The Daily Mirror, Dutch full-back Alexander Buttner has opened up on the moment United came calling, finding out the life-changing news in a local chip shop.
“I was eating a big portion of chips with some mates and my brother when I got this call from my agent,” said Buttner
The full-back admits he initially thought the call was a prank after travelling to England for talks with other clubs and taking a picture with a United book during his visit.
“I thought it was a massive prank because when I had been visiting one of the other clubs, at one of the stadiums there was a Manchester United book and I said to my agent ‘take a picture of me with the book and we’ll pretend I am in England to sign with Man United.
“I thought it would be a cracker because my friends knew I had gone to England,” he said.
It was a week after the trip to England that Buttner received the call and admits he and his friends couldn’t contain their excitement at the news, celebrating in the chippy.
“Then a week later my agent called me when I was in the chip shop and just said ‘Alex, it’s Manchester United.’ I just thought, f**k off, but he was really serious.
“All my mates looked at me and I said ‘we are going to Manchester!’ Then everyone went crazy. The chip shop was upside down.
“It was such a great moment. Celebrating the biggest transfer of your life in the chip shop around the corner. My brother jumped on the table, my mates went wild,” recalls the player.
The Dutchman was wanted by other teams in England but the call from United naturally blew the rest out of the water and Buttner was delighted to accept the offer.
“I had been looking at clubs of a completely different level in England. Southampton, Sunderland and Queens Park Rangers. I was going to sign with one of those clubs, I thought. Now suddenly I was wanted by Manchester United?,” he said.
Buttner spent two full seasons at Old Trafford, scoring on his debut against Wigan Athletic and winning a Premier League trophy during his stay.
The defender also scored in Sir Alex Ferguson’s final game in charge of the club, a 5-5 draw away to West Bromwich Albion.
Buttner also recalled the first meeting with the legendary manager who persuaded him to share a glass of wine on his arrival.
“When Ferguson first offered me a drink, I initially declined. I had never had a drink before. Sir Alex laughed at me – and then I took my first very drink.
“Those are moments I will never forget. We became champions in England and I thought, why not, let me have a drink,” he said.
Buttner is still active in the game, playing in his native country for second tier side De Graafschap.