Saturday 27 August 2016

Giggs, Scholes, Butt and the Nevilles roll back the years

Class of 92 reunited as they are hammered 5-1 by Salford

Published 08/08/2014 | 13:06

A fan invades the pitch during the match to get autographs during the pre-season friendly
A fan invades the pitch during the match to get autographs during the pre-season friendly

Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt and the Neville brothers rolled back the years on Thursday night as they lined up together in a 'Class of 92 and friends' XI for a friendly against Salford City, the non-league outfit they bought between them this year.

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It was an unfamiliar feeling in some ways for the quintet of former Manchester United players, though, as they ended up being beaten 5-1 in a contest that featured frequent pitch invasions.

The fivesome, who went on to enjoy trophy-laden careers with United after graduating from the club's academy in the early 1990s, all started the match at a sold-out AJ Bell Stadium, alongside other former Red Devils team-mates from various eras.

That included the likes of Robbie Savage and John O'Kane from the 1992 FA Youth Cup-winning side, and Raimond van der Gouw, Mikael Silvestre and Quinton Fortune from later years.

But while there were some nice touches from the star names once play - following a kick-off that was delayed due to traffic - got under way, it was their Evo-Stik League Division One North opponents who looked more comfortable, and Salford raced into a 2-0 lead with a little more than half an hour gone.

Robbie Savage stops to chat to fans during the pre-season friendly at the AJ Bell Stadium, Salford. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday August 7, 2014. See PA story SOCCER Salford. Photo credit should read: Dave Howarth/PA Wire
Robbie Savage stops to chat to fans during the pre-season friendly at the AJ Bell Stadium, Salford. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday August 7, 2014. See PA story SOCCER Salford. Photo credit should read: Dave Howarth/PA Wire
Salford City's Jason Jarrett battles with Class of 92's Quinton Fortune during the pre-season friendly at the AJ Bell Stadium, Salford. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday August 7, 2014. See PA story SOCCER Salford. Photo credit should read: Dave Howarth/PA Wire
Class of 92's Raphael Burke battles with Salford City's Andy Smart during the pre-season friendly at the AJ Bell Stadium, Salford. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday August 7, 2014. See PA story SOCCER Salford. Photo credit should read: Dave Howarth/PA Wire
\Class of 92's Quinton Fortune and Salford City's Phil Marsh battle for the ball during the pre-season friendly at the AJ Bell Stadium, Salford. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday August 7, 2014. See PA story SOCCER Salford. Photo credit should read: Dave Howarth/PA Wire
Class of 92's Ryan Giggs is tackled by Salford City's Nicky Platt during the pre-season friendly at the AJ Bell Stadium, Salford. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday August 7, 2014. See PA story SOCCER Salford. Photo credit should read: Dave Howarth/PA Wire
Team scarves during the pre-season friendly at the AJ Bell Stadium, Salford. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday August 7, 2014. See PA story SOCCER Salford. Photo credit should read: Dave Howarth/PA Wire
Class of 92's Robbie Savage and Salford City's Phillip Edgehill battle for the ball during the pre-season friendly at the AJ Bell Stadium, Salford. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday August 7, 2014. See PA story SOCCER Salford. Photo credit should read: Dave Howarth/PA Wire
Ryan Giggs displays the Class of 92 team crest during the pre-season friendly at the AJ Bell Stadium, Salford. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday August 7, 2014. See PA story SOCCER Salford. Photo credit should read: Dave Howarth/PA Wire
Class of 92's Paul Scholes protests to referee Mark Halsey during the pre-season friendly at the AJ Bell Stadium, Salford. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday August 7, 2014. See PA story SOCCER Salford. Photo credit should read: Dave Howarth/PA Wire
Ryan Gigs leads out his class of 92 team during the pre-season friendly at the AJ Bell Stadium, Salford. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday August 7, 2014. See PA story SOCCER Salford. Photo credit should read: Dave Howarth/PA Wire
The steward pinches the ball and run-ins the after game kick around during the pre-season friendly at the AJ Bell Stadium, Salford. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday August 7, 2014. See PA story SOCCER Salford. Photo credit should read: Dave Howarth/PA Wire
Fans in the crowd during the pre-season friendly at the AJ Bell Stadium, Salford. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday August 7, 2014. See PA story SOCCER Salford. Photo credit should read: Dave Howarth/PA Wire
An over exuberant fan clings to the goals during the pre-season friendly at the AJ Bell Stadium, Salford. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday August 7, 2014. See PA story SOCCER Salford. Photo credit should read: Dave Howarth/PA Wire
A fan invades the pitch during the match to get autographs during the pre-season friendly at the AJ Bell Stadium, Salford. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday August 7, 2014. See PA story SOCCER Salford. Photo credit should read: Dave Howarth/PA Wire
Salford City's Phil Marsh celebrates after scoring his sides 3rd goal during the pre-season friendly at the AJ Bell Stadium, Salford. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday August 7, 2014. See PA story SOCCER Salford. Photo credit should read: Dave Howarth/PA Wire
Salford City's Phil Marsh celebrates scoring for his team during the pre-season friendly at the AJ Bell Stadium, Salford. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday August 7, 2014. See PA story SOCCER Salford. Photo credit should read: Dave Howarth/PA Wire
Class of 92's Ryan Giggs is tackled by Salford City's Nicky Platt during the pre-season friendly at the AJ Bell Stadium, Salford. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday August 7, 2014. See PA story SOCCER Salford. Photo credit should read: Dave Howarth/PA Wire

Fifty-one-year-old Dutch goalkeeper Van der Gouw had already made a couple of smart stops when he was beaten by Paul Linwood, and Nicky Platt then doubled the Ammies' advantage by slotting home.

Giggs pulled a goal back seconds before the interval, the United assistant manager converting a penalty awarded for handball.

But Salford had their two-goal cushion restored shortly after the interval through a Phil Marsh header, and substitutes Gareth Seddon and Mike Oates subsequently added the other goals with fine finishes.

Comedian Jack Whitehall, ex-England cricketers Michael Vaughan and Steve Harmison and other former United players in Tomasz Kuszczak, David May, Ben Thornley and Danny Webber - who hit the post - were introduced for the Class of 92 in the second half.

There was also a series of disruptions after the break caused by spectators getting on to the field of play.

On one occasion, a young fan wearing a United shirt got it signed by Giggs and Gary Neville, but other incidents were more unsavoury, and it took a while for security to clear a mass pitch invasion at the final whistle.

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