I will miss Gary Neville: not for his shop steward defence of Rio Ferdinand after the missed drugs test, nor for his inexcusable run the length of Old Trafford to taunt Liverpool fans after a late winning goal, but for being one of the very best full backs that I’ve seen.
And for, with the odd lapse, being a really bright, intelligent guy.
Most England press conferences are a dirge but that was never the case when Gary was in the chair.
He always spoke forcefully and with evident knowledge. He was one of only a few that I ever took the trouble to listen to. He should have been captain of his country instead of the odd half-wit that preceded and followed him.
I hope he becomes a manager in the future — I’d bet he’d be a very good one — but if Sky goes after him they’ll have a gem.
And anyone that questions his ability as a player should remember that, more than four years after he last appeared for England, he still hasn’t been properly replaced.