Paul Scholes on Irish heritage, Uncle Neville and hazing at Man United

The Manchester United legend spoke to Ger on Off The Ball about his time as a member of the fabled Class of 92

Listen to the full interview via the podcast.

Deep down Manchester United probably know that there will never be a repeat of the Class of 92.

Only on rare occasions have a clutch of young academy graduates from the same year made the impact that Paul Scholes, David Beckham, Ryan Giggs, Gary Neville, Phil Neville and Nicky Butt did at a club.

The Manchester United sextet have come together to take part in a new documentary, appropriately called The Class of 92 and as Paul Scholes revealed on Off The Ball, it was the brainchild of Gary Neville.

Describing the ex-United right-back as "an uncle", Scholes revealed that the Sky pundit was the person who gave the impetus for his fellow Fergie Fledglings to get involved in the documentary.

"Gary does organise quite a lot of things that we tend to do. That's just his character. He's quite a driven person. It was going through his mind at the time and we were happy to get involved," said Scholes, who retired for the second and final time at the end of last season.

One of the clear facets about the documentary is the deep bonds of friendship that still bond Scholes and the other members of the Class of 92.

"We'll always be [good friends]. None of us ever fell out with each other when we were playing which is unusual in itself," admitted Scholes.

"It's unusual that six players come through in the same year and they all get on so well. It was just the way it was and there was never any trouble between us. We're all happy for each other. When you all come together, it brings back memories about what it was like back then and the emotions you go through. They were special times."

While the Class of 92 were successful at youth level, that was not a guarantee of senior glory and Scholes is grateful for Alex Ferguson's trust in his young charges.

"We knew there was something special. But you never know if that will transfer to first team level. As it happened, it did and we were grateful to the boss for giving young players a chance as he replaced seasoned professionals." 

But the Class of 92 had to go through initiation "ceremonies" when they broke into the first team and Scholes and Butt ended up in laundry bags which were stuffed into industrial dryers.

"You had to through these initiations. It was all part of growing up at the Cliff and growing up as a footballer. And I'm sure it's the same in any walk of life. But it all stopped around our age and we didn't carry it on with the younger players."

The former midfielder also touched on one of the darker moments of career: missing the 1999 Champions League final through suspension.

But in true Scholes style, he was philosophical about that disappointment. 

"You get over it. Obviously at the time, it's more disappointing. But even if I was available, there's no saying that I would have played anyway. There's no point in looking back now. We had a great season and we were all involved in those three massive games at the end of the season."

His former captain Roy Keane was another player to miss that final at the Nou Camp. Hailing a player that he and his team-mates "looked up to", Scholes wished the Cork man well in his new job as Ireland assistant manager and also revealed his own Irish heritage.

"I hope they do well. My grandparents were from Ireland and I like to look at the results and it's a country you hope to do well."

That's one player the Granny Rule missed unfortunately!