“Fergie just wanted us to get home, put on the telly and sit on the couch.”
Lee Sharpe has revealed that Alex Ferguson did not want Manchester United footballers to play golf in their spare time. Ferguson was a keen golfer, but, according to Sharpe, he felt the sport would ‘sap’ players’ energy and could potentially lead to injuries.
Lee Shape on why Alex Ferguson did not want Man United players to play golf.
“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 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 was playing golf when he found out Man United had won their first Premier League title back in 1993. However, the Scot seemingly wanted his players to avoid playing the sport to ensure they were fully focused on performing for Man United.
Sharpe played over 200 times for Man United between 1988 and 1996 and was a member of Ferguson’s first great side at Old Trafford.
The former England winger, who earned eight caps for his country, helped the Red Devils win four Premier League titles, two FA Cups, the League Cup and the Uefa Cup Winner’s Cup.
Sharpe joined Leeds United in 1996 and his career gradually petered out after spells with Bradford City and Portsmouth. He retired from professional football aged just 32 in 2002.
The former Man United winger, however, is now trying to build a career as a professional golfer. Sharpe told The Athletic that several ex-Man United players are keen golfers, although Roy Keane doesn’t play the sport.
“I played with Gary Pallister a lot. Paul Ince and Mark Hughes played quite a lot,” Sharpe said.
“Peter Schmeichel plays now. Yorkey is down to playing off scratch. Giggsy, Scholesy, David May, Michael Carrick, they’ve all played.”
“Keaney doesn’t play… I think he’s got enough frustration in his life without golf. If he wasn’t able to hit it, I’d be worried he might be lashing clubs everywhere.”
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