Irwin has been described by Sir Alex Ferguson as the best player of his time in charge at United.
"I was a right-footed full-back," he said.
"Throughout all the time we played together, Ryan was my left foot.
"He wasn't afraid to do his defensive duties. He would always do the dirty side of things.
"I could always trust him to come back and mark the overlapping full-back.
"It was a pleasure to work with him. He made my job a hell of a lot easier."
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