Scott Davies was there, at Old Trafford, on October 23, 2011. 

Manchester United 1-6 Manchester City: A blue moon rising; red mist descending around Old Trafford.

It’s a day that the Tranmere keeper will never forget, having grown up as a massive supporter of the Sky Blues.

Now, it’s the turn of Davies to go toe-to-toe with the Red Devils as he looks to avenge years of childhood heartache.

“20 years of my childhood, and growing up as a teenager, was absolute torture,” admitted the Rovers’ shot-stopper.

“They’ve always looked down on Man City over the years, but it has turned around quickly. If myself and my club can have an influence on them having another bad day, then great.

“Six-one, 40,000 empty seats. It was a great day for me and my old man. He’s a huge City supporter and has been going for 30 years. There is a big hatred for Manchester United in the family, but it’s purely professional on Sunday.

Edin Dzeko celebrates making it 6-1 to Man City at Old Trafford in October 2011

“I’m a big City supporter. I go to most home games and a lot of away games, when we’re not playing Sunday or midweek games. I have been to plenty of derbies at Old Trafford and at City. I’m not a big lover of Man United, I’ll be totally honest.

“I’ll have my City underwear on for Sunday,” joked Davies.

It’s not only Manchester bragging rights on the line this afternoon, however.

Games of this magnitude don’t come around all that often and, for Davies, it’s an occasion that he is likely to relive countless times in years to come.

The 32-year-old keeper joined Tranmere with the club preparing for its first season in the National League in 2015. It has been quite the journey since then.

Rovers’ rapid recovery has been nothing short of remarkable, and Davies is desperate to savour this latest step on his unforgettable Tranmere journey.

“I’m a realist. I know I probably won’t reach the top level now, but I still work hard and want to play as high as I can. I am where I am and play the football at the level we’re at, and these occasions are huge for me,” he said.

“These are memories that I will take with me for life when I’m working, doing whatever in 20 years’ time. I will look back and be able to say that I played against Manchester United in the FA Cup fourth-round. These are big moments, and I’ll remember them for life.

 “I read what Micky said about playing Watford, Manchester United and Sunderland all within the space of ten days. When I came to this club- with no disrespect to them- we were playing Dover, Boreham Wood and Braintree. A lot of work has gone into it, we’ve sacrificed hours, the fans have come together and it has brought us to places like this.

Scott Davies
Scott Davies celebrates at Wembley

Rovers’ captain continued: “I wouldn’t say it’s the biggest game of my career, as I’ve played in much more important games. When it comes to promotions, they’re bigger games. But when you’re talking memories, and what I will be talking about when I’m 50-years-old, then yes. These days will live with me for the rest of my life. 

“People have been saying that the cup is dead, haven’t they? You only have to look around these parts to see that it’s not. We’re very excited, and it’s why we play the game of football.

“I’m a very proud man, a very proud Manchester City supporter, and a very proud captain of Tranmere Rovers. Come Sunday, to lead this club out against a team I dislike quite a lot and, one of the biggest clubs in the world, it will be a huge day.”

Sunday is not only about creating lasting memories, though. It’s also a chance for redemption.

Still hurting after last year's 7-0 cup defeat at the hands of Tottenham Hotspur, Davies is hopeful that the Whites can ‘learn their lessons’ from this harrowing experience.

“I think we let ourselves down against Spurs. As good as Tottenham were, there were parts of that game that disappoint me. This time around, with those memories fresh in our minds, we will be attacking it slightly differently,” said the former Fleetwood man.

 “You learn lessons from occasions like that. Hopefully this time, we will play the occasion a little better.”

Fully aware of the threats United will pose, he added: “We won’t just compete; we want to win. We will form a game plan that we think might work. They are Premier League players, whichever team they put out. We will put the faith in the staff to put together the right plan, and it’s down to us to implement that.

 “I’d take their struggles tomorrow. They’re struggling for Manchester United standards, but they’re still in the top tier, one of the biggest clubs in the world and have got riches beyond our wildest dreams. Manchester United are still a force, and will continue to be a force long into the future,” concluded Davies.