In case you missed one of the more unexpected transfers this summer, former Manchester United defender Johnny Evans is now back at the club after eight years.
And while you might expect it to seem a bit unbelievable for some fans to wrap their heads around, it turns out even his kids are struggling to believe he was ever there to begin with too.
The now-restored Northern Ireland centre-half spent eight years playing for the first team before joining West Brom in 2015, but came up through the youth ranks at Man United from the age of nine, and made his first senior appearances in the 2006/07 seasons.
However, it would seem his children – while apparently aware that he spent some time there – maybe didn’t quite realise just how much of a long-serving player he was, how much he contributed to the club, and how much he won there.
Speaking to MUTV, following his somewhat surprising return to the club after the best part of a decade, Evans said that it’s a dream to be able to come back after such a long time, and for his kids to be able to see him play in Red.
“I think they know I used to play for Man United, but I don’t think they believe me in that sense,” the 26-year-old joked in his first interview since re-signing for the club on a one-year deal until June 2024.
“It’s nice that they’re going to be able to watch me.
“My eldest was actually born during my last season at the club [2014/15], so it’d be nice to be able to take them to Old Trafford.
“For the children to see their dad running out at Old Trafford would be something special for any child, so I’m really fortunate and lucky that I get to do that”.
Evans’ last game for the Red Devils at the end of his first spell was against Crystal Palace back in 2015, and his first game back was during this year’s pre-season tour against Lyon.
While Evans obviously won’t be expecting to play that regularly, and was clearly signed as a backup centre-back, with Raphael Varane now out of action and Victor Lindelof also a potential injury concern at the moment, his addition to the squad depth will no doubt be needed with United in all four top-flight competitions this year.
He’s also opened up on how the move has revitalised him, stating that seeing all the young players has “made [him] feel very young again”, and how it helped him get back into the mindset of “trying to come into this first team every day and impress and show the manager what you can do.”
Are you happy to see the long-time servant back at the club, Reds?
Elsewhere at Man United, they suffered their worst-ever share price drop after rumours that the Glazers might no longer be selling, compounded with multiple controversies over the past few months, saw more than half a billion wiped off the club’s value.
Manchester Storm offering cut-price tickets for blockbuster quarter-final against Sheffield
Local ice hockey starts Manchester Storm are taking a hit to their own pocket in an effort to help fans get to as many games as possible this winter by offering cut-price tickets to their upcoming Challenge Cup quarter-final on Thursday, 7 December.
As their exciting 2023/24 campaign continues, the Storm have found themselves amidst a run of home games in the space of a week and besides the test the players are now facing, they also know it presents a challenge to Manchester ice hockey fans who want don’t want to miss any of the action.
That being said, as they prepare to face league leaders Sheffield Steelers in the quarters this week in Altrincham, the Manc skaters have decided to reduce the cost of tickets across the board to pack out their barn as best they can.
It’s sure to be an electric night and a busy month at the Storm Shelter.
With the big fixture looming, the Trafford-based team are looking to continue their impressive turnouts so far this year and this cut-price rate will certainly help keep that trend going.
Notching the price of adult admission down by a fiver to just £18, the concession prices to just £15 and children tickets to a mere tenner for this highly-anticipated match-up, the Storm Support will no doubt be in full force even on a random Thursday night.
General sale is never that expensive to begin with and the local venue has been one of the most affordable and accessible places to watch live sport in Greater Manchester, but discounts like these make it an even better way to spend an evening midweek.
The home team head into the Challenge Cup quarter-final against the high-flying Yorkshiremen following a 4-3 loss to the Glasgow Clanand will face off against the Fife Flyers just two days later before back-to-back away trips to Belfast in the league on 15 and 16 December.
In just 10 competitive games across all competitions at home this season, Manchester Storm have welcomed over 18,700 supporters through the doors of the Storm Shelter, a.k.a. Planet Ice over in Alty.
With two sellout games already this campaign and plenty of others close to capacity no matter the day of the week, their 60% increase in season ticket sales alone shows just how fast the fan base is growing.
Doors for Storm vs Steelers this Thursday, 7 December open at 6:30pm with the face-off set for 7:30pm — let’s get behind our lads, you lot!
Club de Padel – The world’s fastest-growing sport is finally coming to Manchester this month
The world’s fastest-growing sport is finally about to arrive in Manchester – and in a seriously impressive location.
Club de Padel is taking shape at the foot of the Deansgate Square skyscrapers and has officially locked in a launch date.
With four state-of-the-art panoramic courts, the new sports club will be bringing the global sports phenomenon to the city centre for the first time.
It will also have one of the city’s most popular brunch spots and coffee shops, Federal, on site to provide caffeine, snacks, and a selection of drinks in the evenings.
For those unfamiliar, Padel is a mash-up of tennis and squash, where players are enclosed by walls and can play the ball off any wall.
The sport was first invented in Mexico in the late 1960s but has exploded in popularity across Europe in recent years, drawing legions of famous fans.
Andy Murray, David Beckham, Pep Guardiola and Serena Williams have all declared themselves fans, and Lionel Messi went so far as to install a Padel court at his home.
Co-founder James Wigglesworth says: “We can’t get over the support we’ve had from the city so far, our inbox hasn’t stopped with people asking when we’re opening, when they can book, how they can learn to play – it’s been great.
“We’ve also discovered a hardcore element of ‘paddicts’ who travel miles every week to play and are just delighted that we’re landing on their doorstep.”
Club de Padel is partnering with Adidas and HEAD on its equipment and will have one of the UK’s top padel competitors, Alberto Cubero Torregrosa, as head coach.
Alberto said: “I can’t wait to get started at Club de Padel. Having grown up in Malaga, I have been playing padel for over 25 years, so I’m delighted to see it finally arrive in Manchester, where I now call home.
“It is important to me that everyone can enjoy this amazing sport, so it doesn’t matter if you are a complete beginner or an experienced player, I am committed to helping you improve and have fun while doing it.”
Club de Padel will officially open its doors on Tuesday 19 December, with bookings open from 5 December for Padel+ members and general public bookings from 12 December.