The Class Of ’99 – What Happened Next?
Today marks the 17th anniversary of Manchester United’s finest hour.
Or finest 3 minutes to be precise. It was on this day in 1999 that two late goals turned the Champions League Final on its head and ensured United a permanent place in football folklore. Today, we look back at the 11 who took to the pitch in Barcelona that night, where they went next and what they’re at now.
In case you don’t follow him on Twitter, he’s now the father of a Premier League winner. Since 1999, he’s dipped his toe in several unlikely ventures ranging form Strictly Come Dancing to Quiz Show host on Danish TV. His acting career has yet to take off despite his energetic performance in this bacon advert.
From most hated player to the country’s favourite pundit, Jaap Stam’s description of Neville as a “busy c***” has rang true since he collected his winners’ medal in 1999. He part owns a hotel, a football club, and is off to the Euros as Roy Hodgson’s assistant off the back of his failed Spanish venture. A job on Mourinho’s United staff has recently been floated by our own Stan Collymore and in the gossip columns of British tabloids.
Like all good boxers, Johnsen retired before making a comeback. He hung up his boots for good in 2008 and flirted with a real estate career in Norway. He’s also done his coaching badges so we may yet see him in a dugout one day.
The Dutch Destroyer was surprisingly offloaded by Sir Fergie in 2001 and only 3 months later tested positive for a banned substance in the sky blue of Lazio. He eventually returned to United in a scouting role and now serves as assistant at Jong Ajax, the reserve team of the Eredivise runners-up. He is due back on the Old Trafford pitch next week as part of Soccer Aid, so watch out Olly Murs.
The dependable defender who Alex Ferguson said was the first on his team sheet is still seen around Old Trafford in a suit and recently made an appearance in the away section at Anfield. He became an ambassador for the club in 2012 and still enjoys a game of chess after excelling as a schoolboy.
Went on to break Bobby Charlton’s appearance record for Man United and won the trophy again in 2008. But where next? There’s been super injunctions, newspaper scandals and perhaps most embarrassingly a two year stint as Louis van Gaal’s puppet. Currently waiting to see where he stands under the new Mourinho regime.
Still famous. Perhaps most interesting of his post ’99 ventures is his purchase of an MLS team. His Miami project is still in negotiation stage over location and financing of a stadium, so watch this space.
Another co-owner at Salford City with the Class of ’92 crew, Nicky Butt has recently been appointed as head of youth academy at Manchester United after Brian McClair left the club last year.
An injury-plagued career meant his appearance in the Nou Camp in 1999 was his last for United. With a psychologist brother, The Swede has recently been giving lectures to companies on how to deal with setbacks in working life.
The party days are over and Yorke has appeared as a Sky Sports pundit as well as completing his coaching badges. He has expressed his wish to replace Remi Garde at Championship Aston Villa – and the job is still vancant. Yorkie? Anyone?
The prolific striker announced last year that he is recovering from severe kidney failure and has been working with sports scientists in recent months trying to get back into shape. He continues to represent Manchester United in an ambassadorial role and also makes frequent appearances on their TV channel MUTV.
Match winner Ole Gunnar Solksjaer is back managing Molde in his native Norway while Teddy Sheringham was sacked in February from his first managerial effort. It was a short stint for Teddy at Stevenage where he won only 3 points from his last 24 and his most recent TV appearance was in a funny hat at the Upton Park farewell party.