When Sir Alex Ferguson told Paul Ince he had received his first England call-up in September 1992, the Manchester United midfielder initially rejected Graham Taylor’s advances out of spite after being left out of his recent squad for the European Championships.
Ince, who had racked up 47 appearances that season for United when Taylor snubbed him, was still full of bitterness after missing out on a place at the major tournament.
But that quickly changed when he was summoned back to Ferguson’s office for another meeting about his international hopes.
Speaking to Ladbrokes, Ince has recalled the dramatic U-turn he made when Taylor came in with an offer he couldn’t refuse.
“I remember when I was at Manchester United from '89 to '91 I was playing really, really well,” the 53-year-old said.
“I was disappointed I didn't make the 1990 World Cup squad because I thought I'd had a good season, but it was too early on in my career, I think.
“But not to get into the Euro 1992 squad hurt. I was devastated. I was playing really well, I was in great form and I thought I should've been in the squad. But it seemed like the same people were getting picked all the time.
“After that tournament I remember we played Leeds United at Old Trafford and I was up against Gary Speed, David Batty and Gary McAllister. I'd had a really good game and we won 2-0.
“I went into the Players' Lounge after the game and Sir Alex pulled me to one side and told me Graham Taylor had been on the phone and he wanted me to join up with the England team for the game against Spain.
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“I said to the gaffer "no, I'm not going." He said "what do you mean you're not going?" I said "I'm not going. I missed out on the European Championships after playing well for the last year and I should've been in the squad then, so no, I'm not going to join up with them now. It's not happening."
“I went off and did my own thing and the next thing you know, Brian Kidd comes up to me and tells me the gaffer wants me again.
“I go back upstairs to see him and he tells me he's been back on the phone to Graham. Graham told him to tell me that if I joined up with the team, I'd be starting the Spain game. So I said alright, I'll go.
“I went and joined up with the boys, we lost 1-0, I got man of the match and since that day I was in the squad most of the time.”
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