Fletcher makes United return
Scotland captain Darren Fletcher made his Manchester United return following a lengthy lay-off in a 2-1 defeat to Aberdeen in a benefit match for Dons legend Neil Simpson.
- Related Content
The United midfielder had not played since November 22 last year after being diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, a chronic inflammatory bowel condition.
The 28-year-old played the final 30 minutes in front of a packed Pittodrie that saw goals from Jonny Hayes and Joe Shaughnessy give the Dons victory over Sir Alex Ferguson's men, who netted a consolation through Anderson in the closing stages.
Speaking about Fletcher's return, Ferguson told MUTV: "It's been quiet progress for the boy.
"He joined in training a couple of weeks ago and it's one of those situations where you say: 'Let's see how he does because he has had a really difficult time in the last year'.
"Therefore, I wasn't really placing too much hope in it but let's see how he does.
"He's got to the stage now where he feels he needs a game. I let him join Scotland this week but he wanted a game so I said: 'Come to Aberdeen and join up afterwards'.
"I'll give him 20 to 25 minutes."
Simpson, who was a member of Ferguson's Aberdeen team that won the Cup Winners' Cup in 1983, was given a standing ovation as he kicked the match off before being replaced with less than 30 seconds gone.
Nevertheless, his cameo appearance was enough to earn him that man-of-the-match award.
He joked afterwards: "I didn't put a foot wrong so that's probably why I got the award!
"I would have loved to have played more but I'm getting an operation on my back on September 1 and unfortunately on the surgeon's advice I got told not to bother.
"It was a fantastic night and I absolutely loved it. A few times during the week I was quite emotional about the whole thing.
"I didn't bubble or anything but there were times that I probably could have.
"The game was like a testimonial game in terms of tempo but it was great to see these type of players at Pittodrie.
"Thirty years ago we were that type of player and playing at the heights of Europe. It was a great night and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
"I'm not that daft to say that there wasn't Man United supporters there to see that team but there was still 21,000 packing out Pittodrie to honour myself, which was brilliant."
And Simpson was delighted to catch up with his former manager once again.
"He didn't give me any of the hairdryer treatment," he said.
"He said that I thoroughly deserved it and he said it was absolutely no problem to take his team up."