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SAF autobiography: The Beckham fall-out

Sir Alex Ferguson has been talking about his relationship with David Beckham and why the former England skipper had to leave Manchester United. In his latest autobiography, Ferguson said he fell out with Beckham after criticising his performance during an FA Cup defeat to Arsenal in 2003.

"The minute a Manchester United player thought he was bigger than the manager, he had to go," he wrote. "David thought he was bigger than Alex Ferguson.

"That was the death knell for him."

The Scot also describes in detail his version of the dressing-room bust-up with Beckham that followed the FA Cup loss to the Gunners.

"He was around 12 feet from me," wrote Ferguson. "Between us on the floor lay a row of boots.

"David swore. I moved towards him and, as I approached, I kicked a boot. It hit him right above the eye.

"Of course, he rose to have a go at me and the players stopped him. 'Sit down,' I said. 'You've let your team down. You can argue as much as you like.'

"I called him in the next day to go through the video and he still would not accept his mistake. As he sat listening to me, he didn't say a word. Not a word.

"'Do you understand what we're talking about, why we got on to you?' I asked. He didn't even answer me.

"The next day the story was in the press. In public, an Alice band highlighted the damage inflicted by the boot.

"It was in those days that I told the board David had to go."

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Dave Williams

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