LONDON (AP) — Eric Harrison, the Manchester United youth team manager who launched the career of David Beckham as part of the renowned group of “Class of 92” players, has died. He was 81.
United said Harrison died Wednesday but did not provide a cause of death. He was diagnosed with dementia four years ago.
“Eric’s contribution to football and not just at Manchester United was incredible,” said former United manager Alex Ferguson, who led United from 1986-2013 and remains a club director. “… He built character and determination in those young players and prepared them for the future.”
Harrison’s 1992 Youth Cup winners formed the backbone of the team that dominated the Premier League for two decades under Ferguson. Alongside Beckham, Harrison’s graduates included Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt and the Neville brothers, Phil and Gary.
The six players signed a tribute written to Harrison that was posted on Beckham’s Instagram account on Thursday.
“We’ve lost our mentor, our coach and the man who made us,” Beckham’s statement read . “He taught us how to play, how to never give up, how…