Gary Neville finally recounts reasons behind snubbing Peter Schmeichel handshake in 2002


Gary Neville has well and truly established himself as one of the best football pundits in England.

After an incredibly successful playing career, the Manchester United legend moved into the media sphere where he has enjoyed an equally successful career so far.

During his playing days, Neville was the kind of player simply not willing to give a fraction of an inch to any opponent, be that physically or psychologically.

Neville best epitomised the kind of footballer that the great Sir Alex Ferguson valued and he spent years winning trophies with the Red Devils.

Neville’s hardy nature as a player was once again revealed when he told a very interesting story while speaking on the Quickly Kevin podcast recently.

Neville recounted the moment he completely snubbed former teammate Peter Schmeichel’s attempted handshake before a Manchester derby in 2002.

“When you look back now and you’re 43, like I am, there’s two things about that. One, he left Man United at the age of whatever he was, 35, and he said he was retiring, basically to go abroad.

“At the time when he came back, he played for Manchester City.

Neville went on to captain Manchester United

“You can’t play for Manchester City. I’m a United fan and I can’t play for Manchester City, I can’t play for Leeds and I can’t play for Liverpool.

“That’s just written in stone. You just don’t play for those clubs, irrespective of what happens.”

Clear to see that Neville wasn’t a fan at all of the big Dane’s career choices after leaving United.

“He’d won the treble with United in ’99, said that he was retiring...he should have carried on playing for United for the next two or three years if that was the case.

Gary Neville celebrates winning one of many trophies during his Manchester United days

“We struggled for a keeper between Peter and Edwin (Van der Sar).”

However, Neville then went on to add that it was a mentality instilled into United’s players by Sir Alex that also led to him ignoring Schmeichel’s advances

He added: “The other thing was at that time I hated everybody, we all did. Everybody hated us, we all hated everybody. That’s the way it was.

“With Sir Alex, you’re on an island and we were siege mentality. If you’re not on the island, do one.”


Some strong words from Neville there but perhaps that is what made him such a wonderful player.

United dominated football for years under Ferguson and his players desire to leave absolutely no room for sentimentality played a big part in that.

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