Former Manchester United defender Wes Brown has revealed that legendary manager Sir Alex Ferguson once hit him over the head with a cricket bat.

While most would not place Brown among the pantheon of greats that have called Old Trafford home, the former right-back left United in 2011 having won seven Premier League titles, two Champions Leagues, two FA Cups, and three League Cups.

Ferguson kept the United academy graduate around for 15 years, with Brown earning himself a reputation as a defender that could be relied upon to do a job when needed.

However, Brown was not able to escape Ferguson’s infamous wrath despite earning the trust of the Scotsman.

“Correct,” Brown told the Football Social Daily Podcast when asked if the rumour Sir Alex hit him with a cricket bat was true.

“Yeah he used to have this little cricket bat, I don’t know if it was signed by an Australian or New Zealand player.

“He told me I had to move [house] and I told him where I was going to move to, then he hit me with a cricket bat.”

Ferguson tended to reserve the hairdryer treatment for players guilty of underperforming or to provide motivation, but with Brown the issue was house-hunting.

“It’s a little one, just a little whack over the head,” Brown confirmed. “Saying that, he still whacks me now when I see him.”

Wes Brown played under Sir Alex Ferguson for 15 years at Manchester UnitedFerguson had advised Brown to move house, but it seems the manager wasn’t impressed with the defender’s preferred destination.

“He told me I had to move from Longsight,” he added. “And then I told him I was looking for places in the city centre, which provoked the whack.”

It’s perhaps not surprising that Ferguson, the kind of manager who liked to keep his players in check and clamped down hard on those who made too much noise away from the pitch, was concerned that the distractions of city-centre life might distract Brown.

That said, a cricket bat probably wasn’t the most diplomatic way of getting his message across.