DARREN FERGUSON and Barry Fry are homeward bound – but the Peterborough management pair will be firmly focused on the present not the past at Old Trafford on Sunday.
Manager Ferguson, 39, and director of football Fry, 66, both began their playing careers in the youth ranks at Manchester United.
Ferguson, son of the legendary Sir Alex, also wore the colours of Wolves, Sparta Rotterdam and Wrexham before becoming player-manager of Peterborough in January 2007.
Fry failed to make the first team at United, and played only a handful of games in spells at Bolton, Luton and Leyton Orient before injury halted his playing days and led him into management.
He cut his teeth in non-league football, starting in 1974 at Dunstable Town, where he signed both George Best and Jeff Astle.
It was the start of a colourful career which also took in Hillingdon, Bedford, Barnet (in two spells), Maidstone, Southend and Birmingham before he arrived at Peterborough in 1996.
Fry had guided Barnet into the Football League and Birmingham to the League I title in 1995, when the crown was clinched with a 2-1 win over Town at the Galpharm.
His first nine seasons at London Road were as owner-manager, with Posh winning promotion from League II in 2000.
But relegation in 2005 led to a change, with Fry taking on his current role and passing the chairman’s position on to Darragh MacAnthony a year later.
Ferguson succeeded Keith Alexander as manager, and led Posh from League II to the Championship via successive promotions in 2008 and ’09.
He left London Road in November 2009, with Posh bottom of the table, taking over at Preston two months later.
The Deepdale stint lasted just over a year, and his January return to Peterborough, who began this season with Gary Johnson at the helm, means his current side can exchange places with his previous, North End having been relegated to League I.
Posh have won 13 and drawn seven of their 26 games since Ferguson returned, and the boss certainly has the backing of his father, who aims to lead United to Champions League glory against Barcelona at Wembley on Saturday.
“They are a good team and it would be great to see Darren get a third promotion in four years with the club,” said Sir Alex.