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.
“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.”