Wednesday, 8 October 2014
Ferguson wanted me, not Beckham, to be Manchester United No. 7. says; Keane
Roy Keane has revealed that Sir Alex Ferguson wanted him to wear the No.7 shirt at Manchester United and not David Beckham.
The iconic jersey became available at Old Trafford in 1997 when then club captain Eric Cantona left the Red Devils after announcing his retirement from football.
Beckham subsequently took over the shirt, but Keane says Ferguson did not want the midfielder to have it.
"The captaincy is important, but squad numbers can have an importance. At United, '7' was the iconic number," he wrote in his new autobiography, The Second Half.
"When Eric Cantona left there was a debate about who was going to be the next captain. I was quite relaxed about it.
"But there was his number, too - '7'. Bryan Robson had had it before Cantona and, of course, it went back to Georgie Best.
"The manager pulled me into his office and said that he wanted me to wear the '7'. I said, 'No, I'm not that bothered.' And he said, 'I know Becks will f****** want it and I don't want him to have it.'
"I'd had '16' since I'd signed for the club. I was comfortable with '16'. I think it might have kept me on my toes, being outside the '1' to '11'. I didn't think that I was a number '7'.
"I said, 'Give it to Becks.' Becks got it, and it suited him - and Cantona. [Cristiano] Ronaldo had it after Becks."