Monday 23 September 2019

Leighton: I will never speak to Ferguson

Jim Leighton in 1990
Jim Leighton in 1990

Independent.ie Sportsdesk

Former Manchester United goalkeeper Jim Leighton has confirmed he will never speak to former boss Alex Ferguson again after telling the BBC he would not shake the hand of the legendary manager he worked with at Aberdeen and United.

Leighton fell out with Ferguson after he was dropped for the 1990 FA Cup final replay against Crystal Palace, with the animosity still lingering 28 years later after the Scot confirmed he has not seen Ferguson since he left United in 1992. "We've never spoken since and never will do again," stated Leighton, before he was asked to explain why their relationship broke down.

"It got pretty frosty over the period, sort of the last six months I was in the team and then it went to zero a couple of weeks after the final.

"I didn't like a lot of things that he said and did. It's history now. He was miles ahead of anybody in terms of knowledge of the game and tactics, but in terms of dealing with people, it wasn't quite the same."

As he looked back on his omission from the 1990 FA Cup final replay at Wembley, Leighton offered up a somewhat painful reflection.

"I played in the first one when we drew 3-3," he said. "It was a disappointment, but we knew we had the replay to play. We travelled down to London on the Wednesday and Fergie told me then that I wasn't playing the next night.

"What he told me after that I can't remember as it was just a blur. I didn't have a good time at United and that was something that I could have got my teeth into if we had managed to win the cup. It was as bad a blow at that time as I could possibly have got.

"I phoned my dad and he said, 'the sun will come up in the morning and your kids will still love you'. That put it in perspective for me."

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