Sir Alex Ferguson is one of the greatest managers of all time, if not the greatest, but one thing a lot of fans might not know is that he once turned out for Manchester United in a game.
Ferguson's trophy cabinet as a manager was overflowing his time at Old Trafford, adding 38 trophies in 26 years to the trophies he won as Aberdeen and St Mirren boss.
His managerial career came after a decent playing career in Scotland, that saw him play for Rangers for two years, but never would have been good enough to play for his own United sides.
However, back in 1987, his second season in charge of the English side, the team took a mid season trip to the Caribbean to play a couple of friendlies, and the Scotsman did get on the pitch.
United beat Bermuda 4-1 in the opening game of the tour and there were a few injuries for the team as they headed into the second fixture against Somerset Trojans.
An ex pat living in the region reportedly came off the bench in one of the games, and Fergie and then assistant Archie Knox also joined in.
Goalkeeper Gary Walsh was injured by a nasty challenge and that's one of the reason Knox and the boss decided to get on, at least it seems.
Full-back Arthur Albiston told GQ in 2019, "Archie was angry at the Walsh challenge and wanted to make his presence known.
"Had he been 10 years younger he might have made a tackle!"
1/12/87 Alex Ferguson makes his one & only appearance playing for Man Utd. The game was a mid-season friendly v Somerset Trojans at the Somerset Cricket Ground, Bermuda. Fergie (age 45) came on for Peter Davenport 21 mins from time. Utd won 4-1 (Wilson McClair Archie Knox Olsen) pic.twitter.com/wlNz6ha3fK— Pete Molyneux (@PeteMolyneux) July 7, 2020
Knox did score a long range goal later in the game, as the English club won 4-2 in the Caribbean, whilst Fergie is said to have nearly scored with a header.
"It was humorous because at that time he was in his 40s and we were teasing him about how easy we could get past this old man," former Trojans keeper Llewellyn Simmons told the Bermuda Sun paper in 2013, according to Yahoo Sports.
"Troy Berkeley had the benefit of being able to get past United players, including Fergie, and we managed to get two goals against him. It was a fun game. A lot of the guys were in awe of the guys they were playing against.
"We didn’t see any of his hairdryer treatment. He may have been 45 but the enthusiasm and fire were evident even then."
Around 2,000 fans are said to have been in attendance but unfortunately, according to Simmons, photos of the game were stolen from the club in the late 90s.
Whilst the Trojan's former player said he spoke to the manager about his love for United, a Bermudan Chelsea fan has a different recollection of speaking to the 13 time Premier League winner.
"That evening a Scottish friend of mine (a Dunfermline fan) got into a heated argument with Fergie at a cocktail party," the Chelsea fan posted on Reddit.
"After the manager complained about how dirty footballers were today (perhaps because of the injury to his keeper). My Scottish friend promptly brought up the elbows Fergie used to throw while playing for Falkirk."
Strangely it wasn't the first time that Sir Alex came on in a friendly for a team he was managing in the Caribbean, after complaining of violence.
The 79-year-old did the same when he was in charge of St Mirren, having been unhappy with the treatment one of his players was getting against the Guyana national team, he brought himself on.
Fergie decided to dish some of the treatment back out to the host players, and soon got himself sent off.
Featured Image Credit: Twitter
- 'Drive me mad!' - Roy Keane opens up on bizarre stance Sir Alex Ferguson took at Man United
- Sir Alex Ferguson Reveals The Role Cathy Played In Keeping Cantona At Man United
- Sir Alex Ferguson Once Let Goalkeeper Fabien Barthez Play On The Wing For Manchester United
- Sir Alex Ferguson 'Still Earns £235,000 A Week', Nine Years After Retiring As Manchester United Manager