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Roy: Fergie wanted me to wear '7' jersey to stop Beckham getting it

Roy Keane has claimed in his updated autobiography that Alex Ferguson tried to persuade him to wear number seven at Manchester United to prevent the iconic shirt going to David Beckham.

Beckham famously wore the number during his 10 and a half years at Old Trafford, following in the footsteps of other renowned United players like Eric Cantona, Bryan Robson and George Best.

In 'The Second Half', Keane describes how Ferguson tried to block Beckham (inset) taking number seven after Cantona had left the club in 1997.

"At United, '7' was the iconic number," Keane wrote. "When Eric Cantona left there was 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 bothered.' And he said, 'I know Becks will f**** want it and I don't want him to have it'."