Former Manchester United Youth Coach Eric Harrison Dies Aged 81

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistFebruary 14, 2019

A corner flag with the logo of the Manchester United soccer team on it as the pitch is warted ahead of the English Premier League soccer match between Manchester United and Leicester City at Old Trafford, in Manchester, England, Friday, Aug. 10, 2018. (AP Photo/Jon Super)
Jon Super/Associated Press

Former professional footballer and Manchester United youth coach Eric Harrison, who was in charge of the famous Class of '92, which featured the likes of David Beckham, Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs, has died at the age of 81.

The Red Devils confirmed the news via Twitter and offered their condolences to his family and friends:

The news of his death was met with many tributes, including from club legend Gary Neville—another member of the Class of '92:

United coach Mike Phelan also paid tribute to Harrison, while Beckham posted a heartfelt message on Instagram.

Sportswriters Sam Pilger and Oliver Kay shared anecdotes highlighting just how important he was to the Red Devils' young talents:

Harrison―who received an MBE as part of the 2018 New Year Honours―spent his playing career in the lower leagues of English football and had his best spell at Halifax Town. He made his name as a youth-team coach, however, playing a key role in the rise of United under Sir Alex Ferguson.

As reported by BBC Sport's Simon Stone, Harrison managed the Class of '92, a group of players that would go on to achieve legendary status at the club. Winners of the 1992 FA Youth Cup, the team contained the likes of Beckham, Neville, Scholes, Nicky Butt and Giggs.

He also worked with Phil Neville, Keith Gillespie, Robbie Savage and many others.

Harrison followed Mark Hughes, another academy graduate, and spent four years as an assistant manager with the Welsh national team. Per Stone, he was diagnosed with dementia four years ago.

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