“No excuses, no shortcuts, no regrets” is Gary’s philosophy. “I was raised by my parents and taught by my coaches to do everything I could, to get to where I wanted to be”.
His powerful work ethic, instilled at an early age, has seen Gary enjoy a hugely successful playing career with Manchester United, before coaching roles with the England national side and Valencia in Spain. After leaving the football pitch behind, Gary became a prominent broadcaster, football club owner and entrepreneur.
Only four players have played more games for Manchester United in the club’s history than Gary’s 602 appearances. Two of them, Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes, were contemporaries of the Class of ’92. Gary’s first team debut at home to Torpedo Moscow was unmemorable – a dreadful goalless draw in front of just 19,998. Things would pick up.
He spent a season getting used to the first team but by 1995-96 he was a regular among other youngsters brought in to replace older heroes. Alan Hansen declared that ‘You don’t win anything with kids’ then watched on as Gary and his teammates won the Premier League and FA Cup.
Gary boasts eight Premier League winners’ medals, two European Cups, three FA Cups, two League Cups, three Community Shields, one Intercontinental Cup and one FIFA Club World Cup.
United’s captain from 2005 until his retirement in 2011, he’s regarded as one of the most successful players of all time with his manager Sir Alex Ferguson describing him as the best English right-back of his generation.
Gary usually played behind David Beckham, Cristiano Ronaldo and Antonio Valencia, supporting them and overlapping as Manchester United attacked.
“Neville was the best English right back, certainly – if you look at his record, he has won absolutely everything and the number of games he has played, he is without a doubt the best,” said legendary Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, “He had a huge career and fantastic achievements. His record is down to intelligence and motivation – he is an example to players who are maybe less gifted than the Giggs and the Beckhams but still make a fantastic career because they are intelligent and highly-motivated. They deserve a great credit.”
Gary made his England debut under Terry Venables in 1995 for a friendly against Japan.
Selected by five different managers, going on to for his country across three European Championships and two World Cups before his last appearance in 2007. After completing his UEFA professional coaching badges, Gary later became an England coach under Roy Hodgson in 2012 and worked as assistant manager during the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil and 2016 European Championships in France.
Whilst pulling on the shirt of the Three Lions was one of Gary’s proudest moments, in not achieving the heights of success with his Country as he did with his Club, Gary has often looked back on his time with England, as both a Player and a Coach, with a great sense of frustration.
“Playing for England was one long roller-coaster: some ups and downs, but also quite a few moments when you’re not really even sure if you’re enjoying the ride”. When asked why he thought that success had never been attained by, on paper at least, one of the strongest teams in the world, Gary refers to a psychological factor that stems from the way the team are vilified when things do not go to plan.
“It should be fantastic, the best moments of your life. But there is no doubt that too many players spend too much time fearing the consequence of failure when they pull on an England shirt.” Gary remains England’s most capped right back with 85 appearances.
More than a decade since he hung up his boots, Gary’s relentless approach to life and work, the reason behind the naming of his investment business, Relentless, has seen him carve out success in a number of different areas.
This desire to “win again” has been the driving factor in his seamless transition to a leading broadcaster for SkySports, the creation of his own production company, University, hospitality business and one of the largest property developments in Manchester City Centre. “I didn’t want to only be known as a former Man United player and I didn't want to think that my days of success, achieving things, were over".