Eric Harrison: Kieran Richardson in touching tribute to ‘legendary’ former Manchester United youth coach

14 Feb

Manchester United academy product Kieran Richardson has paid tribute to the club’s legendary coach Eric Harrison, who has sadly died at the age of 81.

Harrison, the man credited with developing United’s famous Class of 92 stars, passed away in his sleep overnight on Wednesday after a battle with dementia.

He spent 27 years as youth team manager at the Old Trafford club, nurturing a host of young players who would go on to become United legends – including David Beckham, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and Gary Neville.

Those Class of 92 stars, together with Sir Alex Ferguson, all paid tribute to their former mentor on Thursday, with Neville describing Harrison as ‘the man who made us’.

And Richardson added his own touching tribute to the coach, telling talkSPORT he was a legendary figure at Manchester United when he joined the club in 2002 at the age of 18.

“I knew Eric Harrison very well and Gary Neville was spot on, he was such a nice guy and a very firm and strong coach,” said the ex-England winger, who won the FA Youth Cup with the Red Devils.

“He was unbelievable. I never had a coach like that ever before I first went to Manchester United, he really got the best out of us.

“I was so sad when I heard the news this morning, it’s heartbreaking.

“What I liked most about him was he just told you how it was. If you were not good enough, he’d say you weren’t good enough. ‘Work on this, lad. Try to get better at this’.

“I had a very good relationship with Eric Harrison and it’s a sad day that he’s passed away.

Richardson made 81 appearances in all competitions for Man United between 2002 and 2007

“When I went to Manchester I knew he had already brought through the Class of 92, so when he spoke to me I used to just completely absorb it in.

“He’d brought through David Beckham. I just knew whatever he was saying must be working because he brought so many of these great players through.

“Everything he said was spot on. He was a top, top coach and one of the best I’ve ever come across.”

Listen back to Kieran Richardson’s tribute to former Manchester United coach Eric Harrison above

Eric Harrison: Manchester United’s ‘Class of 92’ youth coach dies, aged 81

14 Feb

Former Manchester United youth coach Eric Harrison, the man credited with developing the club’s famous ‘Class of 92’, has passed away, aged 81.

Harrison was diagnosed with dementia in 2014 and passed away in his sleep on Wednesday night.

Gary Neville and ‘the man who made us’ Eric Harrison

He became United’s youth team manager in 1981 and spent 27 years at the Old Trafford club, nurturing young players who would go on to become United legends – including the likes of David Beckham, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and Gary and Phil Neville.

He was awarded an MBE for his services to football last year.

Gary Neville was among those to pay tribute to Harrison on Thursday morning, with this heartfelt Twitter post.

In 1992, Harrison’s Red Devils won the FA Youth Cup with a team of young players boasting the likes of David Beckham, Ryan Giggs, Gary Neville, Nicky Butt and Robbie Savage.

Paul Scholes and Phil Neville joined the team the following year, but lost in the final against Leeds. In 1995 United won the cup again, with Phil as captain.

Mark Hughes was along among the players to come through the United ranks under Harrison.

Eric Harrison with his Man United youth team in 1990 – can you spot the famous faces?