UTD Podcast: Sir Alex absolutely ripped into us!
It's one thing having a house party shut down by complaining neighbours. But imagine Sir Alex Ferguson doing the honours – in full hairdryer mode.
Well, that's exactly the fate that befell Lee Sharpe and Ryan Giggs in the early 90s, as Sharpe explained in hilarious detail during the latest episode of UTD Podcast.
At the time, the two youngsters were riding the crest of a wave. Both had broken into the United first team as mere teenagers, and played starring roles in the club's first top-flight title in 26 years during the 1992/93 season.
But when Ferguson learned of their plan to paint Stockport red one midweek evening, he had no hesitation in bringing them crashing right back down to earth.
Sharpe takes up the story: “I'd bought a new Barratt or Wimpey new-build house in Altrincham. Giggsy's still living at home with his mum.
“Giggsy rings me up. 'Oh, we'll go out in Stockport, Thursday night. We're alright, we don't have to play until Sunday. We're fine.'
“Yeah, come down.”
A taxi had been ordered to take the pair and some friends to Stockport but, when a knock on the door sounded soon after, the group got a shock.
“At 10 o'clock, the manager knocks on the door,” the Midlander remembered. “Giggsy's mate answers the door with the only two bottles of beer I've got left in the house from the weekend before!
“One of the lads run upstairs and says: 'You'll never guess what? The manager's downstairs!'
“I'm like 'Oh, no he's not, he's not.' I'm putting the final touches to my barnet.
'No, no, the manager's downstairs!'
“No you're joking.”
“So I peer over the stairs. The manager's got the scarlet face on, with a bit of froth in the corner of his mouth.
“'Get these c**** out of this house! I want a word with you and that Giggs! Get in that living room!'”
Though Ferguson held no authority over the non-United members of Sharpe's party, the legendary Scot quickly assumed control.
“He's booting everybody out the front door,” continues Sharpe. “Kicking them up the backside, smacking them around the back of the head.
“He absolutely rips into me and Giggsy. 'You're finished at this club! You can't head it, you can't pass it, you can't run! You're letting your team-mates down, you're letting your mum and dad down, you're letting your family down!'
“Then he's over to Giggsy, doing the same. 'You! You're letting your mum down, letting your family down... There's married men out there with kids, supporting their kids!'”
The tale took a surreal twist when Ferguson was accosted by a new canine acquaintance of Sharpe's, and then learned of the player's hitherto unknown musical aspirations.
“As he's doing this [the hairdryer], I've got a big double door leading into a dining room and a big set of sparkling drums that fill the dining room,” laughed our then no.5. “And a big St Bernard dog that's just trying to mount the gaffer while he's telling me off!
“He looks up and he goes: 'What the f*** are they! Why do you need f****** drums!?'
“I rang my mum and dad up and said: 'I think I'm getting sacked in the morning.' Nightmare! That's Giggsy again – he always got me into trouble!”
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