'Adrian Doherty was Sir Alex Ferguson's ideal player,' Ryan Giggs

The Northern Irishman was set for stardom before tragedy struck

'Adrian Doherty was Sir Alex Ferguson's ideal player,' Ryan Giggs

Ross Kinnaird / EMPICS Sport

Former Manchester United youth prospect Adrian Doherty was one of Sir Alex Ferguson's favourite players at Old Trafford according to Ryan Giggs.

The Northern Irishman, who tragically died at the age of 26, was set for big things with the club before his footballing career was cut short by injury. 

Giggs, speaking to Oliver Kay for his new book, described him as Ferguson's 'ideal player' with him rarely upsetting the manager. 

“For the manager, he was the ideal player.

"The manager loved fast, attacking players, especially wingers. He used to b****ck me regularly, but he never used to give Doc a b****cking — partly because he was very good at managing people and knowing what made them tick, but mainly because Doc did the right things every time, whereas I would end up learning the hard way.

"Doc just didn’t upset the manager. Being the type of player he was, a winger who was unpredictable and took risks, you would expect him to lose the ball from time to time, but honestly he would lose it very rarely.

"He was a freak. He was incredible."

Ross Kinnaird / EMPICS Sport

Giggs was effusive in his praise for Doherty, with the Welshman stating he was unstoppable when on a pitch.

"I had never seen anything like him before,” he added.

"You would look at him the first couple of times in the changing room and think, ‘Well, he can’t play ...’, because Doc didn’t really look like a footballer if you know what I mean.

"He was unorthodox in the way he dressed and the way he acted. He wasn’t like the rest of us. He played the guitar, he loved his music and he was obsessed with Bob Dylan. As a 16-year-old, I didn’t have a clue who Bob Dylan was.

“But once he was out on the pitch, he was incredible. He was the quickest I had ever seen and he was so brave as well. He was an incredible talent. Incredible.”

Doherty never made an appearance for United's senior side, with his cruciate ligaments giving way days before he was to make his debut. 

After seven months on the sidelines, he was beset by injury again in his knee which kept him out for over a year this time, before further injuries forced him to retire.

Trying to move on from a footballing career, Doherty moved to Amsterdam to work for a furniture company but in his first week in the city, he fell into a canal before slipping into a coma, dying one month later.