By Chris Myson
Manchester United fans were in for a shock as they took in their side’s 3-0 win over Newcastle at the Sports Direct Arena on Sunday.
As they enjoyed the visitors’ comfortable victory, courtesy of goals from Jonny Evans, Patrice Evra and Tom Cleverley, they were being joined in the stands by one of their own star players.
Seated high up in the stands with the away supporters behind the goal was England winger Ashley Young.
Young has not played for the Old Trafford giants since their 3-2 win over Fulham in August but, as revealed by Goal.com at the weekend, is nearing a return after a knee injury and could be back in action against Stoke City on October 20, after the international break.
With his team-mates facing Newcastle at the weekend, Young decided to sit in amongst the fans rather than take in the game from the comfy seats in the directors’ box or in front of a TV screen at home.
He initially tried to avoid detection as he walked past fans and into his seat by wrapping himself up in a hooded coat, but he was soon spotted by eagle-eyed supporters.
Once his cover was blown, Young found himself mobbed by fans who were desperate to capture his attention for photos and autographs and the player seemed more than happy to oblige.
Manchester United reserve team player John Cofie – currently out on loan at Sheffield United – joined Young in taking in the Newcastle game from the terraces.
Following his retirement, Gary Neville was another example of a United player who took in a game with the Red Devils' fans, watching his side's clash with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, although he later said he had been advised it may not be the safest thing to do on a regular basis.
Former Sheffield United defender Kyle Walker was a surprise attendee in the Blades' end for their play-off game away to Stevenage at the end of last season, while Sunderland striker Fraizer Campbell also used to travel to away games in disguise as he recovered from injury.