"I had 10 great years there and without the help of those people I wouldn't be where I am today," Shawcross told The Sentinel.
"It was great to see a lot of the Academy staff, like director Paul McGuinness, because of the part they played for me.
"Of course it was disappointing to lose 5-0, but just to experience that ground when it is full, after playing last season in the Championship, was great.
"It was my first senior game there after only playing reserve and FA Youth Cup games for United at Old Trafford.
"I was disappointed not to play for United's first team there because that was my dream, but I'm still delighted to be at Stoke and playing in the Premier League."