Man Utd stars used to disobey Alex Ferguson orders and “sneak off and play golf”

Former Manchester United star Lee Sharpe has told how players would often disobey Sir Alex Ferguson’s orders.

Sharpe spent eight years at Old Trafford under Fergie, helping the Red Devils to three Premier League titles and two FA Cup crowns.

Ferguson would guide United to 13 league titles overall as well as two Champions League victories.

Though it seemingly doesn’t mean his players always listened to him with Sharpe explaining how Ferguson wanted his players to rest.

Instead, a group would head straight to the golf course for a swift round of 18.

“Alex Ferguson didn’t like us playing golf because he thought it sapped the energy out of your legs and it could damage your back by causing twists and pulls,” Sharpe, who now plays golf at a high standard, told The Athletic.

“Fergie just wanted us to get home, put on the telly and sit on the couch, but when you’re 17 to 20 years old, that’s quite a difficult thing to ask, so we used to sneak off and play golf.”

Ferguson is actually a fan of golf and was on a course when he clinched his first league title as United boss.

Fan Michael Lavender was at Mottram Hall and broke the news of the success to Ferguson in May 1993.

Lavender told BBC: "I'd finished my round and came into the bar to have a beer. The Villa game was on a TV in there and the commentator said something like 'Alex Ferguson does not even know he has just won his first title'.

"The guy sitting next to me was one of the junior professionals at the club and he said 'yeah, because he's out here playing golf'.

"So I asked him what time Ferguson had started his round and made a mental note because I was then leaving.

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  • “Mottram Hall has got this long driveway in and out and, as I was driving out, I thought to myself that he might be around there somewhere.

    "I looked up to the 17th green and saw him. So I stopped the car and climbed up to the raised green and, apparently in a very polite manner, told him the good news.

    "First of all, he did a double take because he wanted to make sure I wasn't taking the mickey. As soon as he was satisfied with that, he just went absolutely crazy.

    “He was so happy, he started shouting and dancing around with his playing partner, who I later found out was his son Mark.

    "I just thought well, this is his moment, not mine, so I left them to it. The rest is history."

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