Inshallah United: ‘If only the Class of 92 had a Nassar Butt instead of Nicky’

If Manchester United had Muslim or Asian representation in the 1990s, an extract from a new book says, it could have led to great things for a generation of youngstersI sometimes wonder what it would have been like to have an Asian football role model growing up. How would that feel? How amazing would it be? To have a brown footballer to look up to and maybe even aspire to emulate. When the hype started around Manchester United’s Class of 92 – winning the FA Youth Cup against Crystal Palace in 1992; losing in the final against Leeds in 1993; one by one making a name for themselves in the first team – I felt a huge sense of pride and emotional investment in them. Of course there tends to be a collective soft spot among fans for players who’ve graduated through the academy, but for me it wasn’t really that.They were older than me, so I wasn’t going easy on the kids. For me it was more that a lot of them were local. I’d read all about the Busby Babes in the books I’d borrowed from the library and bought for a pittance at jumble sales. I knew that a fair few of them were local lads too. Then with the Class of 92 there was this sudden arrival of similarly local lads in the first team. Paul Scholes was born in Salford; Nicky Butt was from Gorton; and Phil and Gary Neville were from Bury, where I went to school. Even Ryan Giggs sounded like he was from here with his Swinton accent. Granted David Beckham was from Essex and sounded extremely Essex but he had a fanny parting and wore baggy jeans so he was basically an honorary Manc. Continue reading…

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Football | The Guardian

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