FORMER Manchester United midfielder Michael Appleton is now enjoying life as a football manager, 20 years on from his retirement.
Appleton, 47, was appointed as Charlton boss in September, eight months after being sacked by Blackpool.
The Addicks now sit 11th in the League One table, just five points adrift of the play-off spots.
Before joining Charlton, Appleton enjoyed spells in charge of Portsmouth, Blackpool, Blackburn, Oxford United and Lincoln City.
He was also Craig Shakespeare's assistant manager at Leicester City for a brief spell in 2017.
However, the midfielder first shot to fame during his Man Utd days.
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Appleton joined the Red Devils as a teenager and earned his first professional contract in 1994 after impressing academy coaches.
He was loaned to Wimbledon and Lincoln the following season to get first team experience and eventually returned to Old Trafford in 1996 to make his senior debut.
The midfielder's first appearance came in a 2-1 win over Swindon Town in the League Cup.
That was followed by a 2-0 defeat to Leicester in his second and final game.
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After playing just 90 minutes in total for Man Utd, Appleton moved to Preston North End in 1997, where he scored 13 goals in 121 appearances.
He then joined West Brom, where he spent the final two years of his career before retiring.
The midfielder suffered a posterior cruciate ligament injury in 2001 which ultimately ended his playing career following a botched operation.
He was later awarded £1.5million in damages after the knee specialist who was responsible admitted he wrongly operated on him.
Appleton endured another medical battle when he became manager of Lincoln.
In July 2021, the former Man Utd star bravely announced that he had been diagnosed with testicular cancer.
He took a short break away from football to recover from surgery, but just 11 months later revealed that he had fully recovered.
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