Newcastle United’s audacious swoop for Man Utd legend Sir Alex Ferguson

Sir Alex Ferguson was Newcastle’s top target after Kevin Keegan vacated the St James’ Park dug out but the approach got Fergie a hairdryer of his own

Video LoadingVideo UnavailableClick to playTap to playThe video will auto-play soon8CancelPlay nowNewcastle legend Alan Shearer discusses the club takeoverByMike WaltersSports writer

  • 05:00, 14 Oct 2021
  • Updated07:19, 14 Oct 2021
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Newcastle made an audacious move to bring Sir Alex Ferguson to Tyneside as Kevin Keegan's successor on Tyneside.


But when Manchester United found out, this time it was chairman Martin Edwards – and not Fergie – administering the hairdryer treatment.

Former Newcastle owner Sir John Hall, now 88, revealed: “Kevin was a hard act to follow, but Alex Ferguson would have done nicely. He was the best in the business.

“We needed someone to keep up the momentum when Kevin left in 1997 and the lads felt they had a chance of snatching Alex from Manchester United, where he had already turned the club around to win plenty of trophies.

“Our former chairman Freddy Shepherd, who has since sadly passed away, revealed what happened a few years after our failed Ferguson coup.

“He told me, 'Martin Edwards, the Manchester United chairman, had obviously got wind of what was going on. He rang me and asked if I had got anything to tell him – like Alex Ferguson? I was on a boat at the time and I almost fell off it'.”

“It would have been great if we had pulled it off and he came to manage Newcastle United, but we didn’t do too badly. We managed to get Kenny Dalglish instead.”

IT was the most feared half-time weapon in football – and Sir Alex Ferguson's players all dreaded being on the receiving end of it.

Fergie's hairdryer became a legendary force of discipline at Manchester United, and few were spared his wrath.

Now, in expert journalist John Richardson's new book Fergie: Under The Hairdryer – a unique collection of stories and anecdotes about Ferguson's famously volcanic temper – players and coaching staff relive their personal experience of football's ultimate blowtorch.

Fergie Under The Hairdryer by John Richardson, published by Reach Sport, is available from Amazon

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