Wes Brown admits he was past his prime when he left Manchester United for Sunderland

Wes Brown has confessed that he was over hill when he left Manchester United to join Sunderland. In 2011, former Black Cats boss Steve Bruce stormed his former club on the transfer market.

Looking to build on a top-10 finish from the previous season, Bruce signed veteran Red Devils Brown and John O’Shea. The duo arrived at Wearside having won it all, with several Premier League titles and a Champions League trophy on the bench.

Legendary manager Sir Alex Ferguson was famous for rocking their side when they were still at the top. That year, he allowed two trusted lieutenants to leave, for the benefit of Sunderland.

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However, Brown admitted that injuries had taken their toll on him before joining the Black Cats and he knew his days at Man United were over. With a year remaining on his contract, Ferguson allowed the defender to make a decision amid interest from Sunderland.

“Not at all (if he was forced to leave),” he told Fore Fore 2. “The boss (Sir Alex Ferguson) called me, I had a year to go. I’ve been there since I was a kid, but I know I’m not that good.

“My knees were playing a bit and we bought Rafael and Fabio, the twins, the season before. The gaffer said ‘listen, some clubs have come for you’. You can stay, I know you have a year left, but you won’t play as much. So it’s completely up to you.

“I had an idea, but I still wanted to play. He wanted to play but he knew he wasn’t up to the task of United. When you’re fit, no problem. You are closing in on your man fast. I knew for the last two years, I just couldn’t do it.”

“My game had changed a bit. To be fair, with the injuries I had, it wasn’t too bad in the sense that normal people wouldn’t play as long with the two ACLs I had, but I got through it.”

Despite being past his prime, Brown claimed that he “absolutely loved” his time in the Northeast. The 43-year-old spent five years at Wearside before joining Blackburn Rovers.

“Steve Bruce called me and I remember talking to Sheasy (John O’Shea) about it,” Brown added. “He says ‘yeah, I could go too.’ Since I knew Steve Bruce anyway, he made it easy and Sunderland fans are crazy. He loved me.”

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