West Brom's 300-game star Darren Fletcher hailed by Sir Alex Ferguson
Legendary Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has hailed 'fantastic professional and fantastic human being' Darren Fletcher as the Albion skipper marked his 300th Premier League game.
Fletcher came through the ranks at Old Trafford under Ferguson as a schoolboy and young pro before his career was blighted when he was struck down a chronic bowel condition.
He eventually left for Albion in 2015 and was immediately made captain by Tony Pulis and recorded his 300th Premier League appearance in Saturday's victory over Stoke.
Sir Alex told Albion's official website: "I love the guy, he's a fantastic professional , I think he is a fantastic human being, really well done to him."
He added: "He was at United as a young player. He had a lot of competition with Keane, Scholes, Butt, Veron, all of these players, as he broke through.
"But as he became established he played in all the important games for United.
"In his later years at United he had to deal with his medical condition which tells you a lot about the person because his will and purpose to recover from that and the sacrifices he made from his own life and social life is phenomenal and he never gave in."
Sir Alex said he feared Fletcher's career would be over after being diagnosed with ulcerative colitis.
"At that point I said we really need to look after him," said the former Reds boss. "At that stage we didn't think he would make it in terms of his career.
"But with his will and purpose and the way he leads his life now is completely dedicated now to make sure he plays on a Saturday.
"Of course, I think the big break he got, although he wouldn't want to say this, was leaving United.
"I think it gave him a challenge, knowing that United probably couldn't see a long-term future for him in terms of playing every week, which is what Darren wanted.
"To move to West Brom has made his career now... I watch him play for West Brom and I see the young player that we had.
"Getting about people, running up and down the pitch and for any player to do that at his age, you say to yourself, 'Well done' but when you know the whole background, you say to yourself that is phenomenal, that is incredible."