Paul Scholes has opened up about his drinking habits as a youngster at Manchester United.
The 47-year-old is one of the most decorated Premier League players of all-time, having won the top-flight 11 times, making 499 appearances in the meantime. He was named in the PFA Team of the Year twice and also won the Champions League on two occasions during an illustrious 20-year stint with the Red Devils.
However, it wasn’t all plain sailing for Scholes, especially at the start of his career. While his teammates were doing everything they could to get themselves in peak physical condition, a young Scholes was going very much in the opposite direction. He has revealed he used to spend a large portion of his time away from football in the pub, getting the pints in both before and after matches.
Speaking to Gary Neville on The Overlap, he said: “Sometimes we’d stay in there (the pub) until eight or nine at night from half 12, I’m not proud of this, before the A and B teams on a Saturday night.”
When asked if he would still be alright, Scholes replied: “Sometimes. Most of the time, but that was my lifestyle. I was brought up around pubs as a kid.
“Wherever I went with my mum and dad as a kid it involved a pub, whether I was outside the pub kicking a ball against the wall. Kids weren’t allowed in the pubs, so I was just outside waiting for my mum and dad the whole time. I remember once, when I was 16, 17 or 18 when I was with the youth team, Eric Harrison rang me dad and said ‘we are a bit worried about Paul’s drinking’.”
“They said they were a bit worried about my drinking. I remember my dad saying ‘he’s allowed to enjoy himself, isn’t he?’ I was thinking ‘f***, dad you shouldn’t really be saying that. No, no he doesn’t drink.’
“That’s what I was brought up [on]. Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and sometimes on a Monday, was going out.”
Despite concerns about his off-field habits early in his career, it is fair to say Scholes dispelled any doubts about his ability as his career went on. He ended his glittering career in 2013, retiring for good following United’s 5-5 draw against West Brom, which was, in fact, Ferguson’s final game in charge.