Dong Fangzhou has thanked Sir Alex Ferguson for the special help the legendary manager gave him during his time at Manchester United.
The former China international became United's first ever January transfer signing when he joined the club from Chinese side Dalian Shide back in 2004.
Despite impressing during a loan-spell at Royal Antwerp, the Chinese forward only ever made one Premier League appearance for United before leaving the club four years later.
His time in England was made harder by the fact he did not speak the language, however Dong has revealed how much Ferguson went out of his way to ensure he settled in as best he could.
"The relationship between me and him - the relationship between him and all the Manchester United squad - was more like father and son," Dong told AFP.
"He worried that I had nowhere to go because everyone might be celebrating with family so he arranged for someone he knew to invite me to celebrate with his friend," Dong said.
"As well as helping me on the training ground, Ferguson helped me a lot in life."
Since retiring from football the iconic United forward is still involved with the game back in his homeland where he remains a star.
Dong is still regularly stopped by supporters in the streets but has now established himself as a leading coach helping children who have special needs.
He added: "I feel the purity of their eyes and their hearts.
"And although they may have some physical limitations, their kind of concentration, their seriousness ... that passion actually moves me."