Date: 20th July 2011 at 1:57pm
Written by:

Oliver Gill

Would you really turn down a chance at United to study economics?

If you were just named Reserve Player of the Season at Manchester United, were training with the likes of Ryan Giggs, Wayne Rooney and Nemanja Vidic on a daily basis and were being paid to do so would you throw it all away to study Economics at Durham University? I know I wouldn’t.

But Oliver Gill has opted for exams, lectures and deadlines instead of Fergie, crunching tackles, and glory.

Gill, the son of United Chief Exectuive David, had rejected an offer from Durham this time last year to concentrate solely on his football but it appears he’s had a change of heart this time around. With United signing young defender Phil Jones and the revelation that was Chris Smalling last season, it’s not difficult to see why he couldn’t see a future for himself at Old Trafford but he could have surely made the grade elsewhere like so many of United’s reserves have.

He was highly regarded at Old Trafford and despite cynics pointing to the fact that his old man is the boss upstairs, he has shone for the reserves in the past two seasons and has been unlucky not to make a first team appearance although he did make the bench against Bolton and West Ham in the league last season.

But instead of the lavish lifestyle of a Premier League footballer, Gill has chosen to follow his father David, United’s chief executive, into the world of economics and has enrolled at Durham University.

Gill, 20, was offered a new contract at Old Trafford after he was named reserve Player of the Year but has chosen the world of academia instead.

He had the same dilemma last year but opted to remain at the club and played four times while on loan at League Two side Bradford.

It takes a lot of guts to throw in the towel at such a young age and admit that you’re not good enough to play at the highest level and it seems Gill has made this admirable decision because he’d rather excel at a profession instead of being a mediocre footballer.

It was expected that he’d go on loan again this term to further his experiences but he’s decided to pack it all in, quit United and football and he will be joining his fellow students at Durham in late September.

His dad is a trained accountant and joined the club in 1997 as finance director before being promoted.

Gill junior didn’t have an easy time at United with fans at Old Trafford using him to show their disgust at his father’s involvement with the Glazer family.

He was on the bench during a 3-0 defeat of Fulham two years ago but his name was booed when it was read out before kick-off.

The teenager had also been verbally abused during some of United’s reserve matches and conducted one post-match interview on the in-house TV station while supporters in the background responded by singing a song to denigrate Malcolm Glazer’s ownership of the club.

Who knows, his father might be keeping the seat warm for him to take over as Chief Executive one day?

twitter: @saadnoor


8 responses to “Ollie Gill Turns Down United for University”

  1. Youths the way to go says:


  2. Stephen says:

    If i was getting booed by my own supporters on the basis of who my father was then i might well think that it’s not all worth it…

  3. Stephen says:

    sorry.. i meant “so called supporters”

  4. Simmo says:

    Good luck to Oliver. Always thought he had a bright future in the game. Good player!! Witnessing him being booed at OT was one of the lowest points I can remember as a United fan. I suppose United, like all clubs, have an element of brain dead idiots!
    Good luck with the studies!
    PS. If you ever ask an accountant what 1&1 adds up to a good accountant should reply, ‘what would you like it to add up to’?

  5. s7- says:

    Economics? Really? I’d understand if he was following an exciting career.

  6. Matt says:

    He has made a brave but great decision. Hes obviously a very bright kid and has seen that he cant go as far as he would like in the game.

    Before wasting these critical years (like thousands of kids do down the land, before finding out they havent made the cut) he has done the right thing.

    Also he simply might not want a career in football! Just because someone has a natural talent they dont have to do something they dont want to do just for the public and fans! They have their own life too.

    Any abuse is unacceptable, I wish more kids would make this sensible decision to pursue college/university. A LOT get chucked on the reject pile and are unemployable.

    Good luck from me

  7. troutalan says:

    Good luck Oliver, you bravery in making this
    decision will carry you to the top of your new
    profession. Thank you for your service to United. Your Dads affairs are irrelevant to you. Best of luck kid.

  8. Barnabyd says:

    All footballers should go to uni like they do in America. That way when the game screws them over (as it almost always does) they’ll have something to fall back on.