Sir Alex Ferguson’s autobiography has come under renewed fire – this time not from one of the ex-Manchester United boss’ former charges but an eagle-eyed reader.
One reader was so incensed by a glut of inaccuracies in the book – 45 at his last count – that he wrote to the book’s publisher, Hodder and Stoughton, to demand a full refund.
Jamie Hodder-Williams, CEO of Hodder and Stoughton, was reported in the Daily Mirror to have written an apologetic email to the disgruntled customer.
“We did in fact go through several stages of fact-checking with this book, with a reading from within Manchester United as well as from a specialist football fact-checker,” he wrote.
“Although a very large number of corrections were made we plainly did not pick up everything.
“I am sorry that you feel that your expenditure on the book was not worthwhile.”
Errors included a passage declaring that Ryan Giggs made his Manchester United debut at the age of 16, while it was actually a year later, and also touched upon the fitting of Ferguson’s pacemaker in 2004, though the Scot incorrectly recalled it as having happened two years earlier.
The former-United manager’s chronicle of his final decade at Old Trafford had already drawn the ire of pundits, players, fans and the media over numerous stinging claims made against former players, including Roy Keane and David Beckham.
Mark Bosnich, the former-Aston Villa and United goalkeeper, was sufficiently affronted by Ferguson’s allegation that he was a ‘terrible professional’ that he called the 71-year-old out during an interview with Australian television.
But the most stinging criticism so far has come from the unhappy punter who has been on a one-man mission to help Fergie correct history (or at least his version).
Mistakes highlighted include the length of former captain Keane’s tenure at United – given as 11 years, but in fact 12 – and Ferguson’s recollection of Jaap Stam’s transfer to Roma, even though the Dutch centre-back actually went to Lazio.
It is currently unclear whether the complainant has accepted the refund.
However, Hodder-Williams assured the customer in the email that future editions would not carry the same mistakes.
He said: “Possible corrections that have so far been helpfully pointed out are being checked and will be included in future reprints.”
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