Jonathan Greening: From Manchester United Star to Scarborough Athletic Manager
Jonathan Greening, a former Manchester United midfielder, has undergone a dramatic transformation since retiring from professional football in 2017. The 44-year-old, who was famous for his long locks during his playing days, now sports a greying, long beard and glasses, along with a much shorter quiff hairstyle. As the current manager of non-league side Scarborough Athletic, Greening has left his treble-winning days behind and embraced a new look.
Greening’s career began at Manchester United, where he spent three years and was part of the historic 1998-99 team that achieved the treble. Standing at 5ft 11ins, the Scarborough-born midfielder decided to leave United in 2001 in search of more regular playing time. He went on to have a successful nine-season stint in the Premier League, making 252 appearances for various clubs.
After his Premier League career, Greening finished his playing days with Yorkshire side Tadcaster Albion in the Northern Premier League Division One North. It was during this time that he made the decision to retire from professional football. However, his passion for the game didn’t fade, and in 2021, he took over as the manager of Scarborough Athletic.
Under Greening’s guidance, Scarborough Athletic achieved promotion from the Northern Premier League. The former midfielder’s transition from player to manager has been accompanied by a complete physical change-up. He traded his shoulder-length hair for a shorter quiff hairstyle and grew out a distinguished long beard. The addition of glasses completes his new appearance, giving him a hint of a hipster version of comedian Lee Mack.
Greening’s transformation has garnered attention from fans and fellow footballers alike. Former Arsenal and Wales striker John Hartson compared him to “Neymar,” while Bobby Zamora commented that he “looks a lot better.” The change in appearance is a stark contrast to Greening’s playing days when he was known for his long hair.
Jonathan Greening’s time at Manchester United was memorable, although he only made seven appearances during the treble-winning season. He played three matches in the League Cup, one in the FA Cup, and three in the Premiership. Despite not featuring in the Champions League that year, he was an unused substitute in the final against Bayern Munich, where United secured the European Cup.
Following his time at Manchester United, Greening had successful spells with Middlesbrough, West Brom, Fulham, Nottingham Forest, and Barnsley. He later returned to his roots, playing for his boyhood club York City and Tadcaster Albion. Throughout his career, Greening made 17 appearances for England Under-21 but never received a call-up to the senior national team.
Off the pitch, Greening is happily married to Anna, whom he wed in 2002. The couple has three children: a daughter named Sydney, who is now 22 years old, and two sons named Troy (18) and Travis (14). Greening’s family has been a source of support throughout his football journey.
Jonathan Greening’s transformation from a Manchester United star to the manager of Scarborough Athletic is a testament to his love for the game. While his appearance may have changed, his passion for football remains unwavering. As he continues to lead Scarborough Athletic, Greening’s experience as a player and his dedication as a manager will undoubtedly contribute to the success of the non-league side.