“. . . David swore. I moved towards him and, as I approached, I kicked a boot. It hit him right above the eye.”
Sir Alex Ferguson’s precise account detailing the moment that he kicked a football boot at David Beckham OBE, as revealed in the former manager’s latest autobiography.
Sir Alex also mentions that Beckham “was around 12 feet” away from him at the time of the controversial incident, following Manchester United’s 2003 FA Cup loss to Arsenal.
However, it was disclosed to me by a “close source”, (my friend, who is a friend of a neighbour of the aunty of the doctor that knows the nurse who watched Becks while he was being stitched up by another nurse) that Fergie was merely demonstrating to Ruud Van Nistelrooy how to take penalties from 12 feet – as he had recently missed one from 12 yards – and that the dressing room was not big enough to show this from the actual distance.
Sir Alex also recounts details of the infamous “pizzagate affair”, also known as “The Battle of the Buffet” and “Hawaiian Topping Two- O”, when pizza was thrown at him by an Arsenal player after the Gunners lost 2-0 to United and thus lost their unbelievable unbeaten run.
Ferguson claims that he still does not know exactly which Arsenal player threw that said pizza, although I understand that it was part of a special offer that included extra fries and a coke.
Stories that the coke was part of a miscommunicated order for Rio Ferdinand are, of course, completely untrue.
Naturally, there is much in the book about Roy Keane – Sir Alex describing the Irish hardman as having the most “savage tongue you can imagine”.
I can believe this as I heard that Roy’s tongue was so savage that he even ate the aforementioned pizza after scraping it off the Old Trafford tunnel floor, and that it contained a terrible mix of four meat toppings, seafood and an assorted array of anchovies.
As for Cristiano Ronaldo, he is described by Sir Alex as the “most gifted player” he managed and calls him a “wizard”, and in 2008 that he would rather “shoot” him than sell him to Real Madrid.
Thankfully, Ronaldo is still with us, so Fergie must have missed that time (maybe he can only hit the target from 12 feet).
Having said that, such talk is always a concern, especially after considering BBC pundit Alan Hansen’s poor choice of words used in describing a World Cup match between Argentina and Romania in 1994.
Hansen said that “the Argentine defender warrants a shooting for a mistake like that”. The previous day, Colombian defender Andres Escobar had been shot dead, his murder attributed to punishment for an own goal that the Colombian had inadvertently scored against the United States earlier in the competition.
Finally, Wayne Rooney of course does not go unmentioned. Sir Alex says that Rooney had lost his “old thrust” in his final year in charge, because he was not fit enough.
If this is correct then Wayne need only ask another Scot, one Scotty from Star Trek, for some “extra thrust”.
In the meantime, what is next for Sir Alex, post author and Manchester United legend? Will he boldly go where no man has gone before or even seek out new life and new civilisations and manage Sunderland?
Bob Morton has a first-class degree in Media and is the only person in history to win the Daily Mirror’s ‘You The Manager’ World Cup and Premier League Manager of the Month prizes back to back.