Ex-Man Utd youth star recalls feisty spaghetti bolognese run-in with Sir Alex Ferguson

Danny Drinkwater never made an impact on the Manchester United first team but Sir Alex Ferguson certainly left a mark on the Leicester City legend.
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Former Manchester United youngster Danny Drinkwater has recalled an important run-in he had with Red Devils legend Sir Alex Ferguson while coming through the club's youth system.

The midfielder, who was part of Leicester City's title-winning side, announced his retirement from football this week on The High Performance Podcast. Drinkwater's contract at Chelsea expired at Stamford Bridge this summer but the 33-year-old had spent recent seasons on loan at Reading, Burnley and Aston Villa.

Drinkwater sat down with Jake Humphrey to talk through his career and the reason he had decided to hang up his boots. The Mancunian started with his rise through the Red Devils academy and what he learnt from Sir Alex.

Drinkwater said: "I had a few dealings with Sir Alex, to be honest. For some reason I always got proper close with the chefs at the club, I love my food and my cooking so it was natural.

"I was waiting for this spaghetti bolognese that Mike, the chef at United, used to do fresh. I was like, 'b****y hell Mike, any chance?'. Next minute, whack around the ear.

"He [Sir Alex] is like, 'you dare speak to him again! Apologise!'. I said, 'sorry mate'. When you get older you realise that taught you so much. Being around that building, it was a great place to grow older."

Drinkwater came through the ranks at Carrington and made it right to the first-team bench, but never made an appearance for the club before moving to Leicester City in 2012. The midfielder spoke of his love for the Manchester United academy and appreciation for having learnt from the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Gary Neville.

Danny Drinkwater turned out for the Manchester United reserves but never the first team (Image: Getty Images)Danny Drinkwater turned out for the Manchester United reserves but never the first team (Image: Getty Images)
Danny Drinkwater turned out for the Manchester United reserves but never the first team (Image: Getty Images)

He said: "I was in the same building as Paul Scholes, Roy Keane, Gary Neville. The motivation! You just turned a corner in the corridor and was almost starstruck. It was a bit surreal.

"There was this one summer, Cristiano Ronaldo was there for nine or ten months, the season ended and he left for summer. He wasn't a big machine, he was a thin, young teenager and he came back and looked like he had just grown.

"Looking at that you're thinking, that's where I need to get to. That kind of level. That whole season I just smashed the gym because of what I'd seen of him."