Nicky Butt has revealed a furious Sir Alex Ferguson once turned up at his school when the hot-headed teenager got into a spot of bother.
The former midfield hardman was speaking with his class of ’92 teammates, Ryan Giggs and Phil Neville at this year’s Soccerex, held in Manchester.
Butt, from Gorton, said he was once summoned to the head-masters office for his behaviour, only to find the steely Scot lying in wait.
“If you look at most managers now they don’t know players names who are under the first team,” Butt, who now manages United’s reserve team, said. “He knew our names when we were 13, 14.
“Not only that, he knew brother’s names, parent’s names, he turned up at my school once when I was misbehaving at school.
“I remember I went to the headmasters office, thinking ‘I’m in trouble again, what have I done this time?’
“I walked through, was a bit cocksure off myself and he was sat there, and I thought oh that was it. I’m dead.”
The trio were asked if they were afraid of Sir Alex during their United careers, and without hesitation each one answered ‘yes’.
When asked if they were still afraid of him, the answer remained the same.
“He’ll always be the boss in our eyes,” Butt said.
Despite striking fear into the boys, Ferguson’s former fledglings were full of admiration for the strict Scot, and spoke of the father-son like bond they shared with him.
Phil Neville, now a pundit for BBC’s Match of the Day, said: “I don’t think I’d be sat here if it wasn’t for him. He’s done so much for me, even when I left the club.
“He was just the best man manager you could ever wish for. He could walk into a room and he could pin point who was feeling good, who was feeling bad. He had a smell for certain games, for certain players.
“He was a pioneer in everything. He was the first person to bring in squad rotation. Back then, he brought it in. He had us living our lives in the right way. I think he was a genius.”
Ryan Giggs, the assistant manager as Manchester United, said: “He was a father figure to me, both on and off the pitch. He was someone you could always turn to.”
Main image courtesy SportWeb TVBern Bern, via YouTube, with thanks. Insert image courtesy of Beanyman62Sport, via YouTube, with thanks.