To say Gary Neville took life as a Manchester United player seriously would be an understatement.
By his own admission, the defender wasn’t blessed with huge amounts of natural talent and, in the early days, there were even suggestions that brother Phil was the more complete player of the two.
Still, and while not to a disservice to his quality as a defender, it was Gary who forged a more successful career at one of the world’s leading clubs through his hard work and eagerness to improve.
As a player, he was the embodiment of the Sir Alex Ferguson era. That never-say-die-attitude was so prevalent in his game, as well as the constant challenging of standards, both on and off the pitch.
Never was that more evident than a meeting between United and Everton in 2010.
As the teams waited in the tunnel before kick-off at Goodison Park, the two brothers side by side. Gary, as captain of United and Phil – Everton’s skipper – could have been forgiven for an embrace. Or even a nodding acknowledgment of each other’s existence.
None of that was forthcoming, however.
Rather than even dare look at each other, the two Neville brothers would seemingly focus on whatever they could to avoid casting a glance over their shoulder.
Both stare ahead of them, making sure not to turn their heads at the same point so as to make awkward eye contact in a moment Premier League fans still haven’t forgotten.
“That’s exactly what the mentality pre game should be,” said James Hiscock.
“These guys aren’t normal,” joked David.
“They were trying to hate each other,” said Kai Xtra.
Of the incident, Phil would tell the Premier League’s official website in 2017: “I knew what he was like. It would have been nice, just a ‘hello’. But then when I saw he was like he was, I thought, ‘I’ve got to do the same.'”