Currently a technical director with the club where he spent most of his playing days, Manchester United FC, Fletcher was a prominent member of the Red Devils as well as the Scotland national team during a 17-year career. Coming through the ranks of United’s youth and reserve teams, we take a look at some of the greatest quotes on Darren Fletcher.
Having suffered with a serious health condition throughout his career, Fletcher nevertheless competed in over 340 games for Manchester United and 80 internationals for Scotland.
Playing in a mainly central midfield role, Fletcher was in the United team that won the Premier League five times, the FA Cup once, and the Champions League once. Due to being inflicted by the condition ulcerative colitis, he had a major break away from football in 2011, but returned a few months later, before having surgery.
Fletcher was a regular in the Scotland team during a 14-year period, being named the captain when available, with the honour of representing his country as one of its youngest skippers in 2004.
After playing out his later days with West Bromwich Albion and Stoke City, he did return to Old Trafford to help the under-16 squad. Probably not seen as one of the high profile names in the team, Fletcher was still mentioned as being one of the main reasons for the club’s success during his time there.
Apart from still being involved with the Manchester United football team, Fletcher also took part in a venture helping deaf children to play football, and became an ambassador for the charity Crohn’s and Colitis UK.
“Some of the other guys were taken aback by just how good he was…..Darren wasn’t scared of anything or the reputation of players. He just wanted to play for Manchester United…..I remember when I first saw him I thought we had a serious player on our hands. Darren had the confidence and skill to beat players who were well established at United…..He’s a level-headed young man.”
Henning Berg (former Manchester United team-mate)
“…..if I’ve given any player credit over the years it would be Fletch. Fletch will tell you that himself…..If there’s been a player who has given him more credit or praise on the training pitch than me then I’d like to meet him.”
Roy Keane (Manchester United team-mate)
“…..Fletcher is more important than people think…..he ‘eats’ opponents in defensive transition. I believe Xavi and Andres Iniesta are happy Fletch is not playing…..”
Jose Mourinho (Inter Milan coach)
“…..complete midfielder, a rare all-rounder and although he’s a slightly different player to Roy Keane, he can become as great…..can get games by the scruff of the neck and inject pace and tempo…..understands the game, reads it well, is improving all the time and United rely heavily on him.”
Terry Butcher (former England defender)
“He is one of the most inspirational players I have had the pleasure of working with…..Darren has shown tremendous dedication and fortitude, demonstrated by his ability to overcome this illness and perform at the highest level for Manchester United and Scotland.”
Craig Levein (Scotland manager)
“I watch him regularly for Scotland and they have not just built a team around him as a player, they have built it around his ethics and approach to the game. He is honest and incredibly hard-working…..”
Pat Nevin (former Scotland player)
“Darren’s commitment and pride in playing for his country is an example to any professional footballer…..his role as a major influence for club and country…..”
Gordon Strachan (Scotland manager)
“Darren was such a great player who was blessed with plenty of drive and ability…..When I first saw him in training I thought he’d go on and become one of the best players around. Darren had everything and wasn’t afraid of anything.”
“…..a quality player will always come through and Darren is quality…..I think he’s been Scotland’s best player in the internationals I’ve seen recently. Against Italy, for example, he was fantastic.”
“…..we are thrilled to bring in a player and a character of Darren’s calibre.”
Jeremy Peace (West Bromwich Albion chairman)
“Darren then came in as captain and he’s on top of his form and is one of the best players in Britain…..Darren is flying.”
George Burley (Scotland manager)
“We feel that he does a smashing job for his country…..He passes the ball well. His energy levels show he is fully committed…..Darren has shown for Scotland is that he is fully committed, he is always here, always wanting to play…..”
Peter Houston (Scotland assistant manager)
“…..fantastic professional and fantastic human being.”
Alex Ferguson (Manchester United manager)