‘I want to kick in’

TOM HEATON doesn’t want to be remembered as a one-time wonder of Manchester United.

The Reds keeper, 35, was given his long-awaited first-team debut by Ralf Rangnick in the game 1-1 draw in Champions League with Young Boys – almost 19 years after he first joined the club as a trainee.

Tom Heaton replaces Dean Henderson in Champions League clash


Tom Heaton replaces Dean Henderson in Champions League clashCredit: PA

England team three times for England Heaton, who left United for Cardiff in 2010 before playing at Bristol City, Burnley and Aston Villa, said Second half substitute guest has only stimulated the appetite for more.

Heaton said: “Playing at Old Trafford in front of an accommodating crowd is always a great feeling. As a guest I love that but wearing the home shirt on my debut was a moment. Great engraving.

“The idea when I came back here was to strive and get in the team and this was the first opportunity of that.

“I was hoping it would come sooner but I’m working every day for the moment and it’s great to be out there. I love every minute of it.

“Signing an 11-year-old boy, coming from the academy, I was on the bench a few times, played a few friendlies, went on loan a lot and then made the right decision to leave and go out to play.


“But that feeling of playing has never left me and every action I’ve taken since then has been to play.

“Coming back here doesn’t change that. I know I’ll have to be patient. It’s a great goalkeeper division. David (de Gea) has been outstanding this year, Dean (Henderson) is an excellent keeper. .

The driver is playing. That was the first marker for me and now I want to learn more. I feel good and I want to continue playing from here. ”

While Heaton’s debut was far from over, the 22-minute appearance when he came on for Henderson, was his first competitive appearance in nearly TWO years.

The veteran suffered a serious knee injury at Villa during a match against his other former side Burnley on New Year’s Day 2020.

Heaton was a United trainee nearly 19 years ago


Heaton was a United trainee nearly 19 years agoCredit: AFP

Heaton added: “The first half of that season at Villa was fantastic but then I got a tough knee injury and was out for quite a long time. But you have to work in those dark days for those moments. engraved like this.

“It’s been a long time since I played. I’ve played pre-season games this year and feel very good. It’s great to come to this point.

“My oldest brother is here with his wife, mother, father, wife and a few friends but my youngest brother fell asleep in bed because it was too late. But it was a good occasion.

“A new manager comes to the building and you want to impress. He gave me the opportunity and now I will continue to work on more.”

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