Sir Alex Ferguson nearly came to blows with Sky Sports reporter Geoff Shreeves before a Manchester United staff member got between the pair.
Ferguson managed United for 26 years and was famous for his fiery temper and no-nonsense attitude when it came to the press.
Following United’s 1-0 win over Middlesbrough in the FA Cup back in 2007, Shreeves refused to play along and questioned the home side’s winner.
Cristiano Ronaldo won and scored a penalty which was deemed soft by a number of spectators. Shreeves saw no harm in asking Ronaldo about the incident, but it quickly got back to Ferguson.
Ronaldo and Ferguson have always been close. (Image Credit: Alamy)In an excerpt of ‘Cheers, Geoff! Tales from the Touchline’ shared by The Sun, Shreeves explained: “He [Ferguson] stood up for his players, as I discovered after an FA Cup win over Middlesbrough when Cristiano Ronaldo went tumbling to win a penalty.
“I asked Cristiano whether he went down easily. Ronaldo is pretty non-committal but says it was a penalty. I certainly wasn’t aware of the impending explosion.
“Sir Alex comes out of the dressing room and stalks straight towards me. ‘You and your f***ing questions, you’re f***ing out of order,’ he snarled. ‘The boy hardly speaks English, you’re f***ing bang out of order’, plus even more colourful language. ‘Don’t talk to me like that,’ I replied. ‘I’m not one of your daft, young players’.”
That’s probably the worst thing Shreeves could’ve said.
He ended up being barred from Ferguson’s press conferences for a period of time and upon reflection, he realised he was in the wrong.
The veteran broadcaster continued: “That saw the Ferguson red mist turn deep crimson.
“He launched himself at me physically, with only United’s head of communications, Di Law, who jumped between us, preventing a full confrontation.
“‘Don’t even think about it,’ I said to Fergie, which was met with an immediate, ‘F**k off, you’re barred,’ as he was hurried away from the scene.
Shreeves in 2012. (Image Credit: Alamy)”I thought I’d done a decent job but as soon as I got home, I stuck the tape on. Then I saw I had got it wrong. It was heavy-handed, piling into him, demanding to know if he was a cheat.
“I wrote Fergie an email, admitting I’d got it wrong. No response.”
Ferguson retired in 2013 but didn’t mellow in the twilight of his career. In his final game, he jokingly shoulder barged Shreeves as he attempted to join the guard of honour.
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