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David Beckham Recalls When Sir Alex Ferguson Made Him Shave Off Mohawk Minutes Before Kick-Off

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David Beckham Recalls When Sir Alex Ferguson Made Him Shave Off Mohawk Minutes Before Kick-Off

Former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson was renowned for his no-nonsense approach to man-management - just ask David Beckham, who was once made to shave his mohawk in the Wembley tunnel before a game against Chelsea.

The fiery Scot, known for setting high standards and holding people to them, fell out with a number of players during his 26-year reign at Old Trafford. From former captain Roy Keane to Ruud van Nistelrooy and Paul Ince, several United players felt the wrath of a Ferguson tongue-lashing.

But perhaps the most famous example of them all was Beckham. The famous flying boot was the beginning of the end as he left for Real Madrid the following summer and as we all know, he went on to be a huge success at Los Blancos.

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In years gone by, Becks has admitted to making mistakes that led to a breakdown in relations with Ferguson but he often praises his former boss for helping him at Old Trafford, although an incident involving his iconic Mohawk hairstyle ahead of the Charity Shield in 2000 was far from ideal.

Chelsea and Manchester United players take to the field at Wemble in 2000, including David Beckham and his recently shaved head. Image credit: PA
Chelsea and Manchester United players take to the field at Wemble in 2000, including David Beckham and his recently shaved head. Image credit: PA

In a new book titled: Fergie: Under The Hairdryer, the former United midfielder spoke about the barnet disaster.

"I have said many times before that the boss wasn't just the greatest and best manager I ever played under - he was also a father figure to me from the moment I arrived at Manchester United at the age of 11 until the day I left," Beckham recalled.

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"The fear of the hairdryer was one of the reasons we all played well. He was also a manager you wanted to do well for, although there were times when I thought he went a bit too far, which caused a few issues.

"Before the 2000 Charity Shield at Wembley against Chelsea I decided to have a change of hairstyle. I went for a mohawk, which I knew wouldn't be to his taste.

"In the end, I was too scared to let him see it, so the day before the game I went into training with a beanie hat on, trained in the beanie, walked back into the hotel with the beanie on, kept it on during dinner and the next morning's breakfast.

"And I still had it on when we made the coach journey to Wembley.

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"Of course the moment was arriving in the dressing room when I would have to reveal my new hairstyle, which I knew would send him into a frenzy.

"Sure enough, within seconds of the unveiling, he yelled at me, 'Go and shave it off!' I thought he was joking. 'No, I'm being serious, now go and shave the ruddy thing off!'

"So off I went to try to find a pair of clippers from somewhere and, just before we're ready to go out for the warm-up, I was in the Wembley tunnel shaving my mohawk off."

Beckham
Beckham
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Can you imagine that kind of thing happened today? Beckham certainly can't.

"It's a lot more normal to do it these days, it's a lot more normal to have a mohawk or a tattoo on your neck or wear coloured boots," he told Otro.

"When we were growing up the manager wouldn't let us even step on a pitch wearing a pair of red boots or a pair of white boots. Simple as that.

"Things like that have definitely changed."

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Chelsea, Football, Manchester United, Sir Alex Ferguson, David Beckham, Wembley, Old Trafford

Jack Kenmare
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