Roy Keane revealed in his new book "The Second Half" that Sir Alex Ferguson did not want David Beckham to inherit the iconic no. 7 shirt after Eric Cantona's retirement.
Keane was handed the captain's armband at Man Utd from the talismanic Frenchman and apparently, Fergie wanted to give him Cantona's squad number as well.
The captaincy is important, but squad numbers can have an importance. At United, ‘7’ was the iconic number. When Eric Cantona left there was a 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 former Ireland captain confessed that Ferguson pulled him aside and offered him the famous jersey but the Cork native admitted he had no interest in taking it. He claims the Scottish manager desperately wanted to stop Beckham from getting the jersey.
The manager pulled me into his office and said that he wanted me to wear the '7'. I said, ‘No, I’m not that bothered. And he said, "I know Becks will fucking want it and I don’t want him to have it."
I’d had ‘16’ since I’d signed for the club. I was comfortable with ‘16’. I think it might have kept me on my toes, being outside the ‘1’ to ‘11’. I didn’t think that I was a number ‘7’.
I said, ‘Give it to Becks.’ Becks got it, and it suited him - and Cantona. Ronaldo had it after Becks.
Hat tip: Daily Mail
Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE
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