Saturday 3 December 2016

'Celebration was worth 120-game ban' - Gary Neville has wound Liverpool fans up ahead of United clash

Samuel Lovett

Published 14/10/2016 | 13:44

Gary Neville
Gary Neville

Gary Neville has revealed that his infamous badge-kissing after Rio Ferdinand’s late winner against Liverpool in January 2006 was “absolutely” worth the £10,000 he was subsequently fined.

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The two sides met midway through the 2006/07 season at Old Trafford in a game that, up until the 90th minute, had failed to live up to expectation.

But that all changed when Ferdinand popped up in the dying seconds of the match to head home the winner and move Manchester United four points clear of Liverpool.

It was Neville’s reaction to Ferdinand’s late goal, however, which defined the game as one of the great United-Liverpool classics.

With the emotion of the match evidently getting the better of him, Neville ran the entirety of the Old Trafford pitch to celebrate the winner in front of Liverpool’s fans where he repeatedly kissed his badge.

Neville was subsequently slapped with a £10,000 fine – but the 41-year-old revealed he has no regrets.

Speaking with Jamie Carragher as the pair recounted their best moments from the derby clash, Neville said: “To be fair, Liverpool had been singing songs about me all game so I thought 'they need to have a bit back don't they?' It was a last minute goal, unbelievable. I got fined £10,000 for that.”

When asked by Carragher if the fine was worth it, the former Valencia coach replied: “Absolutely, it was worth a 120-match ban!

“It was probably one of the best moments because we were struggling at the time, we hadn't won the league for three years and it just felt like one of the best moments we had in a couple of years.

“Every time we scored against Liverpool and it was a winner, and you knew it was a winner, I would celebrate. For me personally, that's what it's about. I think Steven Gerrard has celebrated in front of the United fans a few times, Robbie Fowler definitely did and you've just got to take it on the chin.”

United went on to lift the title that season with two games to go, ending a three year league draught in the process.

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