Manchester United’s XI that lost to Southend in 2006: Where are they now?

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Manchester United fans could be forgiven if they’ve blocked this game from their memories.

Back on November 7 2006 - exactly 10 years ago - United were dumped out of the League Cup at the quarter-final stage after losing to Southend United at Roots Hall.

United were top of the Premier League table at the time while their opponents were struggling in the Championship.

Sir Alex Ferguson made nine changes for the match but United, who deployed both Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney on the night, suffered a shock 1-0 defeat.

Freddy Eastwood scored the most famous goal of his career - a sublime free-kick past Tomasz Kuszczak - to send the Shrimpers through to the quarter-finals.

But what happened to the Man Utd players who featured that night? Let’s take a look…

Tomasz Kuszczak

Current club: Birmingham City

Tomasz Kuszczak was only on loan at United at the time. He signed a permanent deal with the Red Devils the following summer and spent five years at Old Trafford before joining Brighton & Hove Albion in the summer of 2012.

John O’Shea

Current club: Sunderland

John O’Shea spent another five years at United before joining Sunderland, where he still plies his trade today, in 2011.

Wes Brown

Current club: Blackburn Rovers

Wes Brown went on to play a crucial role for Manchester United during the 2007-08 campaign, winning both the Premier League and Champions League trophies.

Mikael Silvestre

Current club: Retired

Mikael Silvestre spent two more years at Old Trafford before completing a shock move to Arsenal in 2008. The French defender last played for Chennaiyin in the Indian Super League.

Gabriel Heinze

Current club: Retired

Gabriel Heinze was a fan favourite at Man Utd but it all turned sour at the end of the 2006-07 campaign when he attempted to force through a move to Liverpool. That was never going to happen, so Ferguson shipped the Argentina international off to Real Madrid instead.

Heinze, now 38, is currently the manager of Argentinos Juniors.

Cristiano Ronaldo

Current club: Real Madrid

Cristiano Ronaldo is expected to win his fourth Ballon d’Or over the coming months and will go down as one of the best footballers of all time.

David Jones

Current club: Sheffield Wednesday

Defeat at Southend was another nail in David Jones’s Manchester United coffin. He has still enjoyed a decent career, though, and is currently with Sheffield Wednesday after leaving Burnley in the summer.

Darren Fletcher

Current club: West Brom

Darren Fletcher went on to become a key player for United between 2008 and 2011 before being cruelly struck down by ulcerative colitis. The Scot barely played over the next couple of years but, against the odds, managed to return and now captains West Brom.

Kieran Richardson

Current club: Cardiff City

Kieran Richardson struggled to endear himself to the United supporters and, in truth, was a bit out of his depth at Old Trafford. He’s since played for Sunderland, Fulham and Aston Villa and now plies his trade with Cardiff City.

Alan Smith

Current club: Notts County

Alan Smith left United in 2007 and has scored just three goals in all competitions - honestly - since then. That’s nine years! The 36-year-old currently plays for Notts County.

Wayne Rooney

Current club: Manchester United

The only survivor from that night 10 years ago, Wayne Rooney is now just two goals away from equalling Sir Bobby Charlton’s goalscoring record.


Kieran Lee

Current club: Sheffield Wednesday

Kieran Lee spent the 2007-08 season on loan with QPR and was then sold to Oldham Athletic. Still only 28, the midfielder is with Sheffield Wednesday.

Ryan Shawcross

Current club: Stoke City

First-team opportunities were few and far between at United during the mid to late 00s, with Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic often the first two names on Ferguson’s teamsheet.

Ryan Shawcross left the club in 2008 for Stoke City, where he has enjoyed a fantastic eight years.

Patrice Evra

Current club: Juventus

Patrice Evra became a key player for United and stayed until 2014, when he joined Juventus. He’s still a cult hero among the Red Devils’ supporters.

Tom Heaton

Current club: Burnley

After loan spells at six different clubs in the Football League, Tom Heaton left United for Cardiff City in 2010. He’s been with Burnley since 2013 and produced a magnificent individual performance against Zlatan Ibrahimovic and co. last month.

Danny Rose

Current club: Portsmouth

No, not *that* Danny Rose. This one never made a senior appearance for Man Utd but has still enjoyed a good career with clubs lower down the English football pyramid.

Wayne Rooney
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