Sir Alex Ferguson praised Paul Scholes and Gary Neville after they became the first double recipients of the tribute award of the FWA.
Scholes and Neville scoop Football Writers' Association gong
Sir Alex Ferguson led the tributes to Paul Scholes and Gary Neville after they became the first double recipients of the tribute award of the Football Writers' Association.
The Manchester United and England legends were the toast of the football writing world on Sunday night, with both players lauded by some of the biggest names in the game, despite the two individuals being very different.
United manager Ferguson described their respective personalities.
"I think that Gary is a very forthright guy and speaks the truth and is prepared to say it and he has always been that way," he said.
"There is no grey area with Gary, it is very black and white, whereas Paul doesn't say much but when he says something it is worth listening to."
Sir Bobby Charlton believes United will never find replacements for the duo.
"Paul and Gary are irreplaceable and the highest compliment I can pay them is that their legacy is as good as any who have played for this club," said Charlton.
"Gary was a bit different. Even at a young age he was inspirational. He was the captain, a leader, a talisman.
"Gary has been a real bonus for United because of his depth of feeling for the shirt, but I am proud of all of them."
Long time friends Neville and Scholes were also full of praise for one another, with the former now working as a Sky Sports
pundit and Scholes recently coming out of retirement to continue his quest for silverware at Old Trafford.
Scholes, 37, said: "Obviously Gary has had a big impact. He has been a fantastic right-back, not just for United but for England as well.
"I have grown up with Gary and known him quite a while and I know what a good player he is, how much he has done for the club and how big a fan of he is of Man United."
Neville, who retired in February 2011, said of Scholes: "He is a great player and the best I've ever played with; to be fair most players who have played with him or against him say the same thing.
"You can think about people who played for the club for three, four or five years and had a great impact, but Scholesy and Ryan (Giggs) have played for the club for 20 years and had an impact season after season.
"You see him getting mentioned in the same league as (Zinedine) Zidane and Xavi, which he constantly does, not by me but by people who know much more about the game than me and who have played against him."