It seems hard to fathom that David May was a Manchester United player for nine years, from 1994-2003. He is one of the rare players that have come to Old Trafford but saw himself ending up in the background- more often called upon when injuries occurred to first team regulars rather than really being recognised as an out-and-out starter. His career at United, which turned out to be his main club, was more or less broken up in to two spells. The first one, his main contributions to the team in the 90s, saw him win two Premier League titles, the FA Cup and was in the squad for United’s Champions League victory in 1999. In the second part, after1999, May only started 12 games in what turned out to be his final four seasons for the club.
Just like a lot of the players that represented United in the 90s, May was a local lad; he came from Oldham. His first professional club was also one in the county of Lancashire- Blackburn Rovers. He played 123 times for Rovers and was part of the team that got promoted to the Premier League in 1992 and finished runners-up to Manchester United in the season of 1993-94. That was to be May’s last contribution to Blackburn because apart from having the opportunity to join United that summer, May felt that a breakdown in contract negotiations at Blackburn eventually led to him leaving. Sir Alex Ferguson brought the central defender for £1.2m and during the initial stages of his Old Trafford career he was used as a right-back because of injury to then first-choice Paul Parker. The end of May’s first season at the club saw them lose out, coincidentally, to Blackburn in the race to become champions. His second season was much better for him as he established himself in the team, scored the first goal in a 3-0 victory at Middlesbrough that saw United win the title back in 95-96, and played in the FA Cup final victory over Liverpool.
Steve Bruce’s departure from United saw May become a regular for the first time in the 96-97 season and impressive form almost saw him earn his first England cap- although he never actually represented his country. The second part of his United career was about to begin and injuries, along with new signings Jaap Stam and Henning Berg, meant that May saw very little action. This eventually led to a loan spell at Huddersfield Town in the 99-00 season but had to return back to Old Trafford because he suffered another injury whilst on loan. This led to a final three frustrating years at the club where he was often playing in the reserve team.
After an unhappy ending, May was snapped up on a free transfer, by Burnley, in 2003. He captained the team in his solitary season with them and after that he moved significantly down the ladder to play at amateur level with Bacup Borough before retiring from the game in 2006.
Since retiring he has formed a partnership with a friend to import South African wine and has launched a new range called Mayson Ridge. He has not cut any of his links with United though, and still attends matches- mainly in the hospitality lounges. Along with making sure he lends his support to his former employers, he occasionally works as a pundit on MUTV. One of May’s acts of humour during his time at United was to make sure he got himself in to very noticeable positions in all of the photographs when FA Cups and Premiership titles were being won- even if he played a bit-part.
Along with the wine importing, May practically lives in Dubai now after emigrating there two years ago to take up a post as head of football at a new school.
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