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Fergie ruled the club with an iron fist and could be a fearsome presence. He has had fallouts with superstar players including Roy Keane, Ruud van Nistelrooy, David Beckham and Jaap Stam.
However Ferdinand explained that Sir Alex tolerated mockery from one person: Carrington dinner lady, Carol (pictured below right).
The 42-year-old centre-back, who spent 12 trophy-laden years at the club, explained that Carol was a beloved part of the fabric of the club. Which apparently gave her licence to rib Fergie about his dress sense.
"Carol was a very funny lady," Ferdinand told The Sun. "I loved speaking to her and having a laugh over a cup of tea at the training ground.
"She would treat everybody the same, academy players, Premier League champions or Sir Alex Ferguson, one of the biggest names in the history of football.
"I remember once he walked in wearing a smart pair of cream chinos as I was talking to Carol, she stopped our conversation and just said to him: 'What are you wearing?!' which made us all laugh."
Safe to say that bantering the boss about his choice of trousers wasn't on the agenda even for long-serving players such as Ferdinand, Paul Scholes or Ryan Giggs.
However Ferguson was usually on his best behaviour when dealing with the behind-the-scenes staff at the club.
Many were reportedly in tears when he announced his retirement, after 26 years at United, in 2013. (Although after Rio's Carol story, we can't rule out that they weren't just crying with laughter at his chinos.)
Former Manchester United captain Ferdinand was speaking as part of a BT +1 initiative, aiming to help fight loneliness this Christmas by encouraging people to reconnect.
We've all lost touch with someone special this year.... It's about time we added them back into our lives with a simple video call...WhatsApp or DM. Carol :heart:- Rio Ferdinand (@rioferdy5) December 16, 2020
Let's beat lonelinesshttps://t.co/sX55rc72YE#BTplusone pic.twitter.com/IXtPIlb2ew
"During the 12 years I spent at Manchester United I saw Carol almost every day at the training ground, she was part of the fabric of the club and always there through the good and bad times," he explained.
"I saw her more than I would see some members of my family. But then after I retired, I didn't see her for a couple of years... so the chance to reconnect with her was amazing."
Here's hoping they shared a good laugh about Sir Alex Ferguson's dress sense (with Rio presumably checking around to make sure his old boss wasn't about to creep up and hairdryer him).
Featured image credit: PA Images
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