Ravel Morrison was left “touched” after hearing the text Sir Alex Ferguson sent to Rio Ferdinand about his failed stint at Manchester United.
Ferguson had extremely high hopes for Morrison when he first emerged from United’s academy in 2010, famously branding him “the best kid you will ever see”.
Despite being tipped for superstardom by the legendary gaffer, however, he failed to break into the first team at Old Trafford amid a series of well-documented issues off the field.
The problematic midfielder was eventually offloaded to West Ham in 2011 after making just three senior appearances, coming as a major frustration to Red Devils academy chiefs and Ferguson.
When speaking with Morrison on the Five YouTube channel, former United defender Ferdinand revealed he had sent a text to Ferguson asking for five words on his failed academy graduate before coming on the show.
And the Scot’s moving assessment left Morrison, who saw his contract with Dutch club ADO Den Haag terminated in January, feeling emotional.
“I text two managers when I knew you were coming,” Ferdinand said.
“I text the last manager you played for in the Premier League, which was Chris Wilder – I've told you what he said – and I asked for five words from Fergie, Sir Alex Ferguson.
“He text me back this: 'Rio, my first and last impression of Ravel as a young lad was he has always got time and space.
“Always available to be on the ball. So unusual for a lad of his age. Give my regards to him, please.
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“Another thing about Ravel which I've always treasured, which no other player who made their debut did it, after the first game in the first team that he played, the next morning he came to my office and gave me a letter thanking me for giving him his debut. I was gobsmacked, Rio.
“‘The boy had a good heart. He was just beaten by his background.’
“I almost started crying, bruv.”
Morrison said: “Yeah man. When I made my debut that was…I don't know. Words can't describe it – making your debut for Man United."
Ferdinand then asked: “What does hearing that from someone like Sir Alex make you feel like?”
To which the 28-year-old replied: “Touches you, do you know what I mean? Because if I could go back in time I would change 90 per cent of my life.”
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