Beckham recalls Sir Alex making him shave off mohawk minutes before match

David Beckham has recalled the time that Sir Alex Ferguson made him shave off his mohawk just minutes before the Charity Shield at Wembley in 2000.

The legendary Manchester United gaffer was never keen on Beckham's hairstyles, which also included a buzzcut, bleached blonde and cornrows during his time at Old Trafford.

Becks' fear of Ferguson's famous hairdryer treatment meant that he even tried to hide one hairstyle under a beanie before the match against Chelsea 21 years ago, report the Mirror.

However, having revealed his new barnet in the changing room prior to the match, Ferguson forced the England winger to shave his head.

Recalling the incident in the new book Fergie: Under The Hairdryer, Beckham said: “I have said many times before that the boss wasn’t just the greatest and best manager I ever played under – he was also a father figure to me from the moment I arrived at Manchester United at the age of 11 until the day I left.

“The fear of the hairdryer was one of the reasons we all played well. He was also a manager you wanted to do well for, although there were times when I thought he went a bit too far, which caused a few issues.

“Before the 2000 Charity Shield at Wembley against Chelsea I decided to have a change of hairstyle. I went for a mohawk, which I knew wouldn’t be to his taste.

“In the end, I was too scared to let him see it, so the day before the game I went into training with a beanie hat on, trained in the beanie, walked back into the hotel with the beanie on, kept it on during dinner and the next morning’s breakfast.

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“And I still had it on when we made the coach journey to Wembley.

“Of course the moment was arriving in the dressing room when I would have to reveal my new hairstyle, which I knew would send him into a frenzy.

“Sure enough, within seconds of the unveiling, he yelled at me, 'Go and shave it off!' I thought he was joking. 'No, I’m being serious, now go and shave the ruddy thing off!'

“So off I went to try to find a pair of clippers from somewhere and, just before we’re ready to go out for the warm-up, I was in the Wembley tunnel shaving my mohawk off.”

Beckham also famously required stitches above his eye in 2003 after being hit by a boot that had been kicked across the dressing room by an incensed Ferguson.

The incident occurred after an FA Cup loss to Arsenal and made headlines at the time, but Beckham has revealed that there were no hard feelings between the pair afterwards.

“I’d made a couple of mistakes during the game and he came into the dressing room and a few harsh words were exchanged," recalls Beckham.

“He started to walk over to me and he kicked out at a pile of clothes on the floor. Out came this boot and then I quickly realised how accurate his kick had been as it struck me on the head, but there weren’t any hard feelings.

“It was a complete freak accident. As far as we were concerned. it was forgotten straight away within the club, but the incident made the papers which meant that people started to speculate about our relationship.

“But as far as the boss and I were concerned it was over, done and dusted.”

  • Fergie Under The Hairdryer by John Richardson, published by Reach Sport, is available for 25% off from

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