Remembering the day that Gary Neville’s mask slipped as former Man United star went on foul-mouthed rant at schoolboys

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He’s always been known as a straight talker, and that has become part of Gary Neville’s appeal as a pundit and broadcaster.

It surely crossed the minds of many that when it was first announced that the former Man United and England right-back was to form part of a new punditry team at Sky Sports, he would be evangelical about the Red Devils to the point of bias.

To Neville’s absolute credit, he has been anything but, calling out the owners of the club as well as the playing staff, when he perceives that there has either been a failure in the running of the club or on the pitch.

Indeed, his observations have surprised many. The detail and knowledge which Neville has, and the way in which he is able to impart it, in understandable bite-size chunks, has seen him become a staple on the channel during its Premier League broadcasts.

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More recently, we have seen him take various people and organisations away from the beautiful game to task, and dismantle their arguments in much the same way as he does on Sky.

The sense that he talks, particularly from a working class point of view, clearly resonates, and it would be little surprise to see him move into the world of politics in due course.

A leaning towards the needs of young people in terms of opportunities is a clearly a manifesto he’s happy to ride into politics on.

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As an entrepreneurial businessman too, he covers all bases in terms of being able to understand government policy and the like.

However, he hasn’t always been so polished.

Who can forget the way in which he abused the same young people he’ll be fighting for back in 2016.

Public schoolboys had got hold of his private number and he was none too happy.

Listening to it again all these years later, the mask had very definitely slipped on this occasion.

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