Date: 16th November 2017 at 5:00pm
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So how exactly do you become a Club Hero? Is it that one magical moment? Is it years of dedication?

Here at Shoot! we pride ourselves on reviewing those players who are most fondly remembered by football clubs up and down the land.

This month’s feature heads north, to Old Trafford, as we focus on Manchester United hero, great and legend, Paul Scholes.

On his 43rd birthday, Shoot! would like to wish the former England and Red Devil midfielder many happy returns as we look back on his United career…

Born in Salford, 1974; the ginger haired talent began training with the Premier League giants when he was just 14-years-old after being spotted by a scout visiting his school. He signed for the club as an apprentice on leaving school in 1991, before turning professional in 1993.

Scholes made his senior debut against Port Vale back in September 1994, scoring both goals in a 2-1 League Cup victory, before going on to make 718 appearances in all competitions for the club, scoring 155 goals and lifting honours galore.

During the 1995-96 campaign, Scholes helped Manchester United become the first English side to win the double twice (Premier League title and FA Cup) – the first pieces of silverware in an illustrious career – netting 14 times in all competitions, mostly operating as a forward.

Scholes went on to win 11 Premier League titles, five FA Community Shields, three FA Cups, two League Cups, two UEFA Champions League, the Intercontinental Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup during his United career.

Having reverted to the centre of the park, the Salford-born star inspired United to their 1999 treble (Premier League title, FA Cup and UEFA Champions League), scoring against Newcastle United in the FA Cup final, despite being suspended for the European final against Bayern Munich.

In March 2000, Scholes scored a sublime volley against Bradford City, directly from David Beckham’s corner kick. Then, just a week later, the midfielder netted his first hat-trick for The Red Devils during a 7-1 demolition of West Ham United.

Former Three Lions star Paul Scholes.

During the 2002-03 season, Scholes scored a career-high 20 goals in all competitions, as Sir Alex Ferguson’s claimed top spot in the English top-flight once more.

Fast forward to 2008, he made his 100th Champions League appearance in a 0–0 draw away to FC Barcelona in the semi-final first leg, before netting a stunning winning goal in the second leg to seal a 1-0 victory (watch below).

Scholes started the final in Moscow against Premier League rivals Chelsea, but was substituted after 87 minutes due to injury. Thankfully for him, he watched his team mates defeat The Blues 6-5 on penalties.

In September 2008, the central midfielder was inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame, having also played for England between 1997 and 2004, earning 66 international caps and represented his country at the 1998 and 2002 FIFA World Cups, as well as UEFA Euro 2000 and 2004.

In March 2010, Scholes became the 19th player in Premier League history to score 100 goals, and also the third United player after Ryan Giggs and Wayne Rooney to do so, after scoring the only goal against Wolves at Molineux.

On May 31, 2011, following his tenth league title with United, Scholes announced his retirement with immediate effect, before joining the coaching staff at Old Trafford.

Two months later, the club held a testimonial match for the legendary midfielder to honour his 17 years of service, with United defeating New York Cosmos 6-0.

However, in January 2012, Scholes reversed his decision and rejoined an injury-stricken Red Devils side to feature against arch rivals Manchester City in the FA Cup.

At the end of the 2011-12 campaign, the midfielder signed a one-year extension, before marking his 700th appearance for United with a goal during his side’s 4-0 drubbing of Wigan Athletic in September 2012.

After 21 appearances in all competitions for Sir Alex Ferguson’s side during the 2012-13 term, Scholes once again announced he would be handing up his boots in May 2013, before making his 499th and final league appearance against West Brom as a substitute.

Scholes will forever be remembered for his genius technical ability, masterful passing and remarkable long-range strikes. Renowned as one of the world’s best box-to-box midfielders of his generation, the United legend possessed all the attributes to fulfil his defensive, offensive and playmaking duties, becoming a key player of Sir Alex Ferguson’s tremendous reign at The Theatre of Dreams.

After retiring, for a second time, Scholes joined fellow Manchester United legends Gary Neville, Phil Neville, Nicky Butt and Ryan Giggs in buying non-league side Salford City ahead of the 2014-15 campaign, with the ambition to win promotion to the English Football League.

Scholes also rejoined United’s backroom staff for a short spell following the sacking of manager David Moyes in April 2014. And finally, the former player has been regularly seen on the likes of BT Sport, ITV Sport and Sky Sports, providing expert punditry.


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