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When Sir Alex Ferguson Played A Game For Manchester United

Ryan Sidle

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When Sir Alex Ferguson Played A Game For Manchester United

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.

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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!"

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."

Sir Alex Ferguson's press conference when being named new United manager in 1987. Image: PA Images
Sir Alex Ferguson's press conference when being named new United manager in 1987. Image: PA Images

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

Topics: Manchester United, Sir Alex Ferguson, Premier League

Ryan Sidle
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