And then there was one.
With the news earlier this summer that Ryan Giggs was to retire from the most successful playing career in English football history, the story of the ‘Class of 92’ which proved a welcome distraction for Manchester United supporters in a difficult season under the management of David Moyes seemed to reach it’s logical conclusion, complete, too, with an extra special documentary made to commemorate Giggs’ short spell as interim manager at the end of the campaign.
Except, that’s not quite where the story ends. Salford City are due to take on a team described as the ‘Class of 92’ on August 7th, but while Giggs and co lace up their boots for another high profile match, the final member of the actual class of 1992 will be once again preparing to play a professional season in the English leagues.
It is to the chagrin of pernickety actualists that as wonderful as the film was and as fantastic as it was to see the achievement recognised for what it has been, the story of some remained not only untold but seemingly forgotten and in some cases revised. Phil Neville and Paul Scholes weren’t, of course, part of the Class of ’92 and nor did they play any part of that FA Youth Cup run – away from the film, in promotional pictures that were taken to ‘replicate’ an old photograph ahead of Gary Neville’s 2011 testimonial, observers would have noticed the absence of one man, Terry Cooke, who had been edited out of the older photo.
The Manchester United youth system under Sir Alex Ferguson was remarkable not only in its top flight success but in its prolific development of young players who would go on to have long football league careers. One such player – the goalkeeper in 1992, Kevin Pilkington – remained at the club until 1998 as understudy to Peter Schmeichel.
Pilkington is now at Notts County as goalkeeping coach but was called upon to play last season and confirmed exclusively to TalkOfTheDevils.com that he has retained his registration for the 2014/2015 season, making him the last remaining player from the class of 1992 to be playing professionally.
Kevin is a shining example of the success of the youth system at the club despite only making eight appearances while at Old Trafford. In a career that included successful spells at Mansfield Town and Notts County, he has played 399 league games and 438 in total so far. He was appointed coach at County in 2012 but retained his registration as a player and was called upon to play last season.
For over three years Kevin has been a good friend and helper to TalkOfTheDevils.com, giving his thoughts on a regular basis, and we wish him and County all the best for the forthcoming season, while keeping our fingers crossed that he makes that magic 400th appearance!