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Dwight Yorke Recalls How He Asked Alex Ferguson For A Year Off With Pay

Dwight Yorke Alex Ferguson

1999 will always be a special year for Manchester United fans. 

In the 1998/1999 season, Alex Ferguson’s side achieved a historic treble as they clinched the Premier League title along with the FA Cup and Champions League.

One of the reasons for the success of that side was the firepower they had upfront as Andy Cole and Dwight Yorke forged a superb partnership which saw them score 53 goals between them that season. During that campaign, United only lost one match when Cole and Yorke were starting.

Dwight Yorke Alex Ferguson

Yorke’s goals the following campaign, 22 across all competitions, were also crucial as United lifted the Premier League title once again but if the striker had his own way, he wouldn’t have played that season as he recalls in the ‘UTD’ podcast.

Yorke confirmed on the podcast that he asked Ferguson for a year-long sabbatical after United secured the treble in 1999, citing the fact that there was nothing else to achieve but there was one caveat that the legendary manager surely wasn’t too pleased with, the striker still wanted to be paid.

“Yeah, but with pay,” Yorke said. “I mean what else is there to do in football after winning the treble?

Dwight Yorke Alex Ferguson

“I was on such a high. It was ridiculous. Concorde was flying back then and I remember we went to New York. Back in the days, they used to put you up with the pilot.

“I got to New York and I thought ‘what else is there to achieve after this?’ Because everything else will be a failure or deemed as a failure.

“I went into the gaffer’s office and said ‘what are we doing? After winning the treble there’s nothing to do. Can I have a year off from football with pay? and then I’ll come back the next year rejoin the team’.

Dwight Yorke Alex Ferguson

“I honestly don’t know what made me think that. What more could we possibly do as a team? Yeah, we could repeat it but if you don’t then the team is a failure.

“If there was a time you were going to ask the gaffer for anything, that was it. I didn’t have anything to lose.

“He could only tell me to f*** off, which he did. He said ‘f*** off and get lost’.

“It was jokingly but if he had said to take a year off then I would have done. But I knew that wasn’t going to happen so I thought it was worth a try.”

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Author: Sean McMahon

Sean is Deputy Editor and head rugby writer. You can contact him by email [email protected] or on Twitter