Sir Alex Ferguson took shirt number away from David Beckham in brutal phone call

David Beckham has revealed how Sir Alex Ferguson took his favourite shirt number off him over the phone while he was away on holiday.

Beckham is synonymous with the number seven shirt at Manchester United, with him one of the icons of the club to have worn the number. But Beckham at first wasn’t happy with how he came to wear the number thanks to a classic Sir Alex ploy.

Beckham appeared on ClassicFootballShirts where the Treble winner was taken through the archives of all the different shirts and seasons throughout his illustrious career. Upon reaching the United home shirt from the 1996/97 season, Beckham revealed his love for the number that would later be taken off of him.

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Speaking about wearing the No.10 for the one and only season at United, where he netted double figures in all competitions and lifted the title, as settled squad numbers became customary in the Premier League, he said: “It was amazing because one of the players I always looked up to was Mark Hughes.

“So for me to wear number 10 was very special and I remember being on holiday in Malta and my phone ringing. And we (United) just signed Teddy Sheringham and it was ‘Hi, it’s the boss’, and I was like okay boss, this is something different. He said: ‘We’re signing Teddy Sheringham, we’re taking the number 10.’

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“And I was like ‘no boss, I had a great season in this number 10’. (Fergie replied) ‘Nope, doesn’t matter, see you in a few weeks, David’, and that was it, the number 10 got taken off of me in one of the best seasons I’d ever had.

“But when I arrived back to training and the boss says ‘By the way, you’ve got number seven’, and I was like (breathes sigh of relief).”

Beckham became United’s new number seven following Eric Cantona’s retirement and would wear the number made famous by the likes of George Best and Bryan Robson before him until he joined Real Madrid in 2003 – seeing Cristiano Ronaldo take the number as he successor.

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