Gary Ablett revealed his reasons for choosing to join Liverpool over Manchester United, with the former defender claiming the Reds were far more professional and forward thinking in their pursuit of success.

Ablett joined the Merseyside club's youth team in 1982, and by 1985 he was in the senior fold. After loan spells at Derby County and Hull City, he made the move to Everton where he won the FA Cup and became the only player to do so with both Liverpool and the Toffees.

And before passing away on January 1st 2012, following a battle with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, the legend penned a book on his life as a professional footballer.

He revealed in the autobiography that United had taken him for a trial, though he always knew in his heart that Liverpool was where he belonged.

Gary Ablett
Gary Ablett's spirit will live on at Liverpool and Everton.

An extract from the book on the official Liverpool website reveals: "I was 14 coming up to 15, when I was asked by Manchester United to go for a week's trial there.

"I'd started going to Liverpool games with my dad and, while I knew the rivalry with United was huge, I thought it was still worthwhile going. I hadn't signed for anyone at this point and, as much as I longed for Liverpool to show an interest in me, there was no guarantee, at that stage, that they ever would. If things didn't work out for me with Liverpool, maybe they would somewhere else.

"I'd been to trials far and wide. I went to Derby County for a day, Blackburn for a day. I played in a trial match for them in midfield and came home.

"I didn't do anything out of the ordinary, but at the same time I didn't do anything wrong. Just okay. At United, I'd have more time to impress, a week of trials where I could show them properly what I could do. Or so I thought.

"After half-an-hour, I wanted to come home. Of all the lads who had been invited along, United had made the mistake of not making sure they had picked two goalkeepers. The 20 outfield players were elected and when I wasn't one of them, I knew what was coming.

""Would you mind going in goal?" asked one of the coaches.

"I agreed because I thought it was the right thing to do - you don't kick up a fuss when you're on trial at a club like United - but, from that moment, my mind was made up. I wouldn't be signing for United even if, during the rest of the week, I stood out like a beacon.

"Maybe that is one of the reasons why United lagged behind Liverpool at that stage, embroiled in a constant game of catch up that Liverpool fans can now appreciate, with roles having been reversed.

"If their approach to recruitment was such that they didn't even invite two goalkeepers to a week of trials, it was little wonder they were in the doldrums. It was amateurish. I was expecting everything there to be slick and professional.

"I stuck out the week, and eventually go the chance to show what I could do in midfield, because I thought it was the right thing to do. How would it look if I stormed off after one day?

"At the end of the week, United said they would be in touch. They never were, but there wouldn't have been any point. I'd never play for them. With each passing day, I was being swayed towards Liverpool."

The extract is an interesting showing of how much Liverpool and United have both changed over the last 20 years; now, while the Red Devils are pushing for the title and signing the cream of the youngsters, their rivals are starting again and hoping to create a force to be reckoned with under Kenny Dalglish.

Gary Ablett's autobiography 'The Game of My Life' is available from Monday, April 16; click here to get your copy