Sir Alex Ferguson once “smashed up” Steve Bruce’s phone during half-time after it interrupted a Manchester United team talk.
Ferguson is widely remembered for being one of the greatest managers of all time due to his excellent man-management and his demanding nature towards players.
And the Scot developed a fearsome reputation for his hairdryer treatment of players when things were not going to plan.
Now former United defender Paul Parker, who played at Old Trafford from 1991 to 1996, has recalled one occasion where Sir Alex saw red and destroyed Bruce’s phone after a poor first half performance from his side.
Talking to The Mirror, Parker said: “I’ll never forget the time Alex ended up smashing Steve’s mobile phone, which happened to go off at half-time leaving the manager in a rage.
“Steve had left his phone on because his wife Janet was in hospital with a back problem and he was waiting for an update on how she was doing.
“The first half of a game hadn’t gone too well and you could tell we were in for a rollicking because as soon as the boss came into the dressing room he slung off his jacket, which was an indication that he meant business.
“He started laying into some of us big time. Suddenly a phone starts ringing and the first person he looks at is me because for some reason he always associated me with a mobile phone.
“Thankfully I wasn’t guilty and so he started going along the line of players, staring at each one, trying to find where the sound was coming from. Woe betide the person who owned it.”
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Bruce won four league titles under Ferguson in the 1990s as a reliable centre-half, but even an experienced veteran like him was not exempt from the manager’s wrath.
Parker added: “Eventually, with his ears pricked, he arrived at Brucey’s jacket, pushed his hand into it and pulled out the mobile phone. Without a second thought he hurled it with force into a bin, completely smashing it.
“No-one said a word. Even Steve, who knew it wouldn’t have made any difference, kept quiet.
“You just had to get on with it and Steve knew there was a job to be done in the second half – any domestic worries had to be shoved to one side.”
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