HE may have six Premier League titles, three FA Cups and a Champions League trophy to his name but do not expect to see Phil Neville resting on his laurels any time soon.

As he embarks on a career as first team coach with his beloved Manchester United, the 36-year-old will be able to add another dimension to his CV this Sunday — star of the big screen.

The retired professional footballer admits he was apprehensive when brother Gary, now a Sky Sports pundit, first suggested the idea for The Class of 92, a cinema documentary of friendship and football which charts the rise to global sporting superstardom of David Beckham, Nicky Butt, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and the Nevilles.

But they came together to reminisce about how six lads from diverse backgrounds ended up playing for the same club to become the spine of one of the most lauded teams in world football while remaining best mates.

Phil said: “We got together and we were having a laugh. We were all coming to the end of our careers and thought, shall we do something?

“It was Gary’s idea. Obviously, working in the media, he’d seen a lot of these documentaries done and, at the start, we were probably a little bit nervous about it because we didn’t want it to come across as just giving ourselves a pat on the back and blowing our own trumpets.

“We wanted it to be a little bit more than that, a little bit deeper than a boring old football documentary. And we hope it’s come across as more than just football — the boom times in the ‘90s, the camaraderie between six lads that fulfilled their dreams really.

“I think the thing that strikes me from the film, I got an insight into how the others were feeling, were thinking at certain moments in our careers that I never knew before.

“There were moments of laughter, Butty, Giggsy tell funny stories about what we went through as youth team players.

“And you probably see the other side to us, the more relaxed side and that’s probably portrayed well in the film.”

Between 1995 and 2005, Phil made 263 appearances for Manchester United before playing for Everton from 2005 and retiring earlier this year.

He said: “I probably had the same insecurities as most people coming to the end of their profession.

“What I would say and the biggest advice I can give to people that are in any line of work really but particularly football, prepare for the end. I started preparing for the end five years ago.

“If you get to the final day of your career and you think, right what am I going to do now, it’s too late.

“You need to start one or two years before. You need to do your coaching badges, go to college, you need to prepare yourself for what you want to do for the next 30 or 40 years of your life. Football is a short career.

“The biggest part of your life is when you’re not being a footballer so prepare for it, give it the same energy as the football. That’s what I’m doing now, I’m giving, not the same energy, I think you’ve got to give it more.

“That’s what I’m doing because I want to be successful, I don’t want to be a failure.”

Born into an athletic family, his dad Neville Neville was a former professional cricketer, mother Jill is general manager and club secretary at Bury FC and sister Tracey is a netball coach and former England international in the sport.

Being from such a successful sporting family, did he ever feel any pressure to succeed?

He said: “There was never any pressure on us. All I would say is my mum and dad played sport. They saw sport as a great way to participate, to make friends, to keep fit.

“They were really keen on it. They played sport, they played cricket, they played football, hockey, tennis, netball, rounders. We were out every night of the week at some kind of sports thing.

“Sport is a great way to live your life, meet friends, stay fit and play your part in a team. It always stood us in good stead.

“Two brothers to play for Man United and England and a sister to play netball for England. It’s great for my mum and dad.

“We’re so proud of Tracey’s achievements. We probably don’t recognise our own because we look at Tracey’s as an even greater achievement than ours because of the obstacles an amateur sport has put in front of them.”

As well as the incredible highs, such as winning the treble in 1999, the film also tells of the lows experienced by some of the players, such as abuse suffered by Phil and David after sendings off while playing for England.

Phil said: “It was hard to talk about I suppose. People don’t really know what you were going through so you bottle it up.

“It was difficult because you don’t want to come across as someone that’s mard or soft.

“I had to tell the truth and the truth was it was a really difficult period in my life for me and my family. And when you think you’re hurting your family for something you’ve done, it hurts you even more.

“But that proved to be the motivation to do even better so you can come out of it one of two ways. You can sulk, you can feel sorry for yourself or you can get stuck in and that’s what I did.”

This Sunday sees the film debuted in selected cinemas, with a red carpet premiere in London.

Phil said: “To be fair, I’m dreading going to the cinema on Sunday to watch it with my wife, my kids, my mum and dad. Going down the red carpet, we’re probably all out of comfort zones.

“Seeing yourself on film is never as good as you think it’s going to be. Maybe we’ll be sneaking out halfway through the film and let the others have their popcorn and we’ll come back in at the end.
“There is a premiere in Manchester as well, there’s a live link-up.

“In an ideal world we would’ve liked to have done both but London is the capital city. This is aimed at England, not just Manchester United fans, it’s going to be a really glamorous occasion hopefully.”

The Class of 92 will debut in selected cinemas across the UK from Sunday and will be available on DVD from Monday