The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Ferguson blast blows away Beckham
- England skipper injured in dressing room bust-up with loss-stung United coach

London: England captain David Beckham was nursing stitches on Monday after the most extraordinary example of dressing-room fury from his volatile Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson.

The club refused to comment on reports that Beckham, 27, needed two stitches above his left eye after Ferguson, nicknamed ‘The Hairdryer’ because of the ferocity of his verbal blasts, erupted in fury after Manchester United collapsed against Arsenal in their FA Cup match.

Both the Sun and Sky TV said the midfielder was in the dressing room after United’s 0-2 defeat to Arsenal on Saturday when a furious Ferguson stormed in.

The 61-year-old manager kicked out at a football boot, which flew through the air, hitting Beckham in the face and leaving him bleeding and requiring two stitches.

The England captain reacted furiously and went straight to his car with his ex-Spice Girl wife Victoria and three-year-old son Brooklyn after receiving medical treatment at Old Trafford.

Meanwhile, Ferguson has admitted injuring Beckham by kicking the boot, which hit the England captain and said it would never happen again.

“It happens every night in a dressing room. It’s one of those freak acts of nature. It’s over, what a freak, and it’ll never happen again,” Ferguson said. “It was more than just me upset in there.”

He had been substituted in the fifth round of the FA Cup tie after injuring his right leg.

A Manchester United spokesman refused to comment. “Whatever happens in the dressing room remains private,” he said.

A grim-looking Beckham was seen driving to training on Monday morning with the damage to his eye clearly visible.

The news of Beckham’s bizarre injury is sure to fuel suggestions of a rift between Ferguson and the England captain, whose relationship has been punctured by a series of bust-ups in recent years.

“The incident was obviously an accident but Becks was absolutely furious, as you would be if you had just got a boot in the face,” a United insider was reported to say.

There is no suggestion that 61-year-old Ferguson meant to hurt Beckham but the bust-up shocked not only Beckham and his family but all team players and staff .

Jimmy Greaves, football commentator and former England player, said: “If anyone thought Fergie was calming down after turning 60, they are very wrong. He will need to make up with the player before the situation starts to overshadow their season.”

Ferguson has acquired a fearsome reputation for his dressing-room rages. Former striker Mark Hughes described the manager’s “hairdryer” treatment.

“He would stand nose-to-nose with you and just shout and bawl, and you would end up with your hair behind your head.”

Beckham is paid £1.4 million a year by Adidas to wear their Predator boots. They supply him with boots bearing the names of his sons, Brooklyn and Romeo.

It was not sure if it was one of his own boots that struck him in the face. (Agencies)

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