Fri. Feb 26th, 2021

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Former Man Utd star Clayton Blackmore reveals tales of Sir Alex Ferguson’s early days in charge

3 min read

Sir Alex Ferguson stamped out the drinking culture when he took over at Manchester United and even helped give players massages during his early days in charge, revealed Clayton Blackmore.

Ferguson was appointed as United boss in 1986 when he replaced Ron Atkinson and would transform the club into serial winners, lifting 38 major honours over his 26 reign.

Former United midfielder Blackmore, who spent eight years working with Ferguson, has lifted the lid on what it was like to play under the forward-thinking Scotsman when he first took the helm.

Clayton Blackmore revealed what is like when Sir Alex Ferguson first took over at Man United

Clayton Blackmore revealed what is like when Sir Alex Ferguson first took over at Man United

The midfielder spent eight years working with Ferguson at United between 1986 and 1994

The midfielder spent eight years working with Ferguson at United between 1986 and 1994

‘Straight away, he tried to stamp the drinking culture out,’ Blackmore told United’s official podcast.

‘The manager was way ahead of his time. He started bringing us in on a Sunday to get rid of the lactic acid, which was never done before.’

Blackmore, who won the Premier League, FA Cup, European Super Cup and European Cup Winners’ Cup with United even revealed that Ferguson helped give players’ massages as the club were so short staffed. 

‘With the amount of staff we had, he was massaging our legs, the gaffer was,’ he said.

Ferguson made it one of his early jobs to stamp out the drinking culture at the club

Ferguson made it one of his early jobs to stamp out the drinking culture at the club

Blackmore (third from the right top row) won several major honours with United under Ferguson, including the 1992-93 Premier League title as pictured here

Blackmore (third from the right top row) won several major honours with United under Ferguson, including the 1992-93 Premier League title as pictured here

‘The gaffer, [assistant coach] Archie [Knox] and Jim McGregor. I mean, he’s washed my legs once before. As soon as he touched them, it was in the newspapers the next day. We didn’t have staff, did we?

‘We only had Jim McGregor, the physio, then we had Sir Alex and Archie. On a normal day, if he wasn’t doing it, the kitman would. Normally he had way too much stuff to do.’

Ferguson established a reputation as a no-nonsense boss during his time in charge of United and is infamously remembered for dishing out the hair dryer treatment to David Beckham during a dressing room clash.

The ex-United boss however had a knack for getting the best out of his players and his approach to management has been hailed by many of his former stars while he is still regarded as one of the best managers of all time.

Blackmore also credited Ferguson for being ahead of his time and introducing new methods

Blackmore also credited Ferguson for being ahead of his time and introducing new methods

The Scotsman would go on to lift 38 major trophies during his 26-year reign as United boss

The Scotsman would go on to lift 38 major trophies during his 26-year reign as United boss

Blackmore opened up on his personal relationship with Ferguson when he was at United and joked that he was so strict that he didn’t speak to him for a month after he missed the start of pre-season to go on his honeymoon.

‘It was a tricky one because I’d just got married and I had organised to go away,’ he added. ‘He brought us back a week earlier than what Ron used to do, so I told the gaffer and he said it was fine.

‘I came back and he didn’t speak to me for a month. First time he came up to me, he said: “You’re playing against Spurs tomorrow”, and that was that.’ 

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