Danny Welbeck has revealed how he was turned down by Manchester City as a youngster before joining Manchester United.
The England international has emerged as one of United's best young talents in recent years.
But the 21-year-old has now revealed that he almost joined City.
"City custard-pied me as a kid," he told the Daily Mail.
"My Dad didn't tell me at the time, it was just before Christmas and he didn't want to break any bad news. It wouldn't have mattered, though. I am one of those people that if you are going to say something, just say it. I take it on the chin.
"Straight after Christmas, I played in a tournament for my local side, Fletcher Moss, and that's where United picked me up. I went for a trial and have never looked back since. I was always a Red anyway."
And despite his rapid rise in the last 12 months, Welbeck insists that his feet are firmly on the ground.
"People around me would never let me get too big-headed. At the end of the day, you're just another human being," he continued.
"I'm lucky to be doing something I love. I don't think you could get too big-headed at Man United because it is a family-orientated club. There are players around who have so much experience in the game that they always keep you on track."
Welbeck is relishing the title run-in with City and United going head-to-head.
"Every single game is getting more important. It's exciting to be involved in because I've not been through this before, a title race like this," he said.
"I'm just looking forward to every game.
'It's definitely lived up to my expectations. I went to Sunderland as a stepping stone in my career, to become recognised in the Premier League before coming back to Man United a bigger and better person.
"I knew I could make a big statement for myself this season."
And Welbeck admits he is loving the continuing development of his partnership with Wayne Rooney.
"He is a Scouser, I am a Manc, but we are good friends," he adds.
"We are always messing about and joking off the field, while on the pitch we just seem to work really well together. We kind of understand each other's games.
"Obviously, partnering Wayne Rooney up front is a big honour and I'd hope he would say the same thing!"