Paul Scholes has revealed the extent of his drinking habits as a youngster at Manchester United which very nearly scuppered his career.
Scholes was one of the brightest talents of his generation who went on to play more than 700 times for the Red Devils.
His list of accolades is extensive and includes 11 Premier League titles and two Champions Leagues.
Scholes was part of the much revered ‘Class of ’92’ that went on to be hugely successful for the club.
However, the midfielder has revealed his surprising drinking habits right at the beginning that caught the attention of the club.
Speaking to fellow Class of ’92 graduate Gary Neville on The Overlap, Scholes revealed what went on.
Neville: “I remember, you used to go home on the bus from the training ground.”
Scholes: “Three buses.”
Neville: “Three buses was it? On a Friday, you’d have a few pints on the way home before a game on Saturday.”
Scholes: “I know. Crazy, madness.
“Sometimes we’d stay in there until eight or nine at night from half 12, I’m not proud of this, before the A and B teams on a Saturday night.”
Neville: “And you’d still be alright?”
Scholes: “Sometimes. Most of the time, but that was my lifestyle. I was brought up around pubs as a kid.
“Wherever I went with my mum and dad as a kid it involved a pub, whether I was outside the pub kicking a ball against the wall. Kids weren’t allowed in the pubs, so I was just outside waiting for my mum and dad the whole time.
“I remember once, when I was 16, 17 or 18 when I was with the youth team, Eric Harrison rang me dad and said ‘we are a bit worried about Paul’s drinking.”
Neville: “Did they know about it?”
Scholes: “They must have done, I don’t know how. Whether someone grassed me up or not, I don’t know.”
Neville joked: “Probably Phil!”
Scholes: “They said they were a bit worried about my drinking. I remember my dad saying ‘he’s allowed to enjoy himself, isn’t he?’
“I was thinking ‘f***, dad you shouldn’t really be saying that. No, no he’s doesn’t drink.’
“That’s what I was brought up [on]. Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and sometimes on a Monday, was going out.”
Neville: “Were you drinking that many times in the week? I didn’t know that myself.”
Scholes: “I didn’t tell anyone anything, did I?
“When I got to 18 I probably was. All my mates were around the pub all the time.
“I used to come and watch my mates play football on a Sunday morning in a pub.”