oliver gill.

What happened to the player who rejected Man Utd contract in 2011 to go to university

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There are millions of youngsters who would give everything in order to realise their dream of playing for their beloved Manchester United.

Playing in front of 76,000 fans every other week, competing for the biggest trophies in club football, earning an absolute fortune and having enough money to retire before you turn 25 - what could be better?

However, there is one lad who turned down that opportunity back in the summer of 2011.

Oliver Gill is a name a lot of United fans will remember - mainly because he was the son of the club’s long-serving chief executive.

Although he never actually played for the Red Devils, the defender did make the bench on a few occasions - including in United’s 3-1 away win over Wolfsburg in the Champions League back in December 2009.

But after failing to force his way into United’s first team, following a loan spell with Bradford City, Gill decided to reject United’s contract offer and instead decided to take up an economics degree at the University of Durham.

Clearly, we’re talking about an intelligent guy here - a genius compared to most footballers, you’d have to say.

What happened to Oliver Gill?

But what’s he up to now?

Well, it turns out that the 26-year-old now works in assurance with a company called Price Waterhouse Coopers, a job which can involve 12-hour stints in the office.


Given the choice, we’d probably have chosen the Man Utd contract, Oliver.

Gill: 'I haven't regretted it too much'

Does he regret his decision?

“It was a really tough decision,” Gill admitted in an interview with the Independent in September. “I’ve been asked a lot of time why I did it and no one has ever said “that’s a good decision” but I would stick by it. I occasionally regret it when I am working long hours now, but I haven’t regretted it too much.

“I wouldn’t say there was one moment when I didn’t make a squad and thought I needed to get out of there or anything like that. It was more going on loan and realising I wasn’t going to get to get to the level I wanted to; I wasn’t going to be a Premier League player - I could see where my limitations were. I realised I wasn’t going to be a Manchester United player, and I could see my friends having fun and I had to decide what life I wanted for myself.


“I wanted to give university a chance and thought I’d enjoy myself there, not that I didn’t enjoy my second year full-time at United, but I could see I wasn’t going to be playing for Manchester United or playing in a Premier League team, I would be off playing somewhere I didn’t want to play in the lower leagues and that didn’t attract me as much.

“I thought I would see how university went and I haven’t regretted it, apart from when I working long days or see someone I played with get a big contract and I think “bloody hell”. If I could make the decision again, I wouldn’t change it, it was the right one for me, even if it’s not for everyone.”

Well, at least he doesn’t regret his choice - or at least that’s what he tells us.

Working in assurance isn't his dream job

But is working in assurance his dream career? He admits that it isn’t.

“If could pick my ideal job it would be the one my dad did because I’m a Man United fan, it’s probably the most interesting job you can do in business,” Gill added. “It would be signing players, going to watch all the game and having an influence on the team, in a sense.


“However it’s not something I’m thinking about in the short-term and similar to when I started out playing football I’m taking things one step at a time.”

Manchester United

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