Mark Clattenburg reveals just how terrifying Sir Alex Ferguson was

Former Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg has recalled one occasion where he sent off Sir Alex Ferguson during a game against Bolton Wanderers after being yelled at by the former Manchester United manager.

Clattenburg reveals the incident in his new autobiography, titled ‘Mark Clattenburg: Whistle Blower’.

The book looks at Clattenburg’s career during his time as a referee, with the Durham-born man showing what it is truly like to officiate in professional football.

In the book, he recalled an incident he once had with Ferguson during a Premier League fixture between Bolton Wanderers and the Red Devils in 2007.

The Trotters won the game 1-0 – the first victory in charge of the club for new boss Gary Megson.

But the match featured plenty of controversy, not least Ferguson being sent off by Clattenburg at half-time.

The referee says he then asked a policewoman to ensure that the Scot didn’t re-emerge into the dugout – and added that “even the police were terrified” of Ferguson.

He wrote (quotes via Daily Mail): “Sir Alex Ferguson made no attempt to hide his fury as we walked down the tunnel at halftime during Manchester United’s 1-0 defeat at Bolton in 2007.

‘You’ve given us no f***ing protection,’ he said, amongst other profanities and insults. ‘You’ve got no f***ing control.’

“He was accusing Bolton of bullying them and he took his anger out on me. He went on and on and would not stop.

“I’d had enough. I sent him off.

“Oh God, I have just sent off Fergie. I’m shaking. I was still a young referee at 32 and trying to make my way in the Premier League. You had to be sure you were right if you were crossing Alex Ferguson.

“There was a policewoman outside the United dressing room.

‘Can you make sure Sir Alex does not come back out into the playing area for the second half?’ I asked her.

‘Me?’ she said. ‘Why me? I’m not doing it.

‘You’re the police!’

“She was trembling just as much as me and didn’t know what to do. But that was the power of the man. Even the police were terrified of him.”

Clattenburg and Ferguson would go on to meet on many more occasions, with the now 46-year-old still a Premier League referee when the United manager retired in 2013.

He quit top-level refereeing at the age of 41 in 2017, bringing to an end a Premier League career that lasted for 13 years. 11 of those were spent as a FIFA listed official.

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