Jump to content

Frunk's got a book oot

Recommended Posts

Sir Alex Ferguson was right in my face - I gave him a dig and he went down like a ton of bricks, says Aberdeen legend Frank McDougall


Nov 20 2010 Alex Ferguson


Record Sport kicks off a three-day serialisation of the knockout Frank McDougall Story.


The former Aberdeen goalscoring hero opens his heart on the highs and lows of a colourful career that was cut short on his 29th birthday.


Read about the day he almost ended his stay at Pittodrie by punching Sir Alex Ferguson during a dressing-room row and the battle to save his sight after being caught up in Glasgow's gang warfare. It's an honest account of a life less ordinary.


THE Aberdeen team were sitting around the changing room, stripped for action and indulging in a bit of light-hearted banter before a training session.


I always sat next to Alex McLeish and when the door burst open and the gaffer marched in, I had half hoped it was Big Eck he was eyeing.


Nope, Fergie's face seemed redder than normal - and that spelled big trouble for yours truly.


He was obviously still raging at me from the previous day's Scottish Cup quarter-final 1-1 draw against Hearts. I had to be subbed after only a few minutes because, although I had declared myself fit, I was far from 100 per cent with a groin injury, which got worse after I had taken an early free-kick.


The gaffer was already walking towards me at a frighteningly quick pace and when he let out his familiar war cry of "McDooougal!", it reverberated around a room that had by then fallen silent.


He screamed: "Ah've seen a f*****g snail move quicker than you. We're gonna work you on that training ground today. Still injured, McDougall?"


For a split-second it seemed as though it was just the two of us in the dressing room. No-one else mattered.


I started to worry in case he would catch a sniff of alcohol from my breath as I'd had a few beers the night before, so I chewed harder on my gum. He was only a few feet away when it appeared he was walking in slow motion. It was a weird feeling.


The fact I was chewing gum seemed to annoy him even more. He was scowling like a Rottweiler and getting closer. Within seconds he was right in my face. I was for it.


I had a lot of respect for Fergie but I had learned a long time ago that in a situation like this, you lash out first and ask questions later.


Only problem was, I wasn't on the mean streets of Cadder, I was at my "work" and it was the boss that was in my face. But he had completely lost the plot and I wasn't for waiting to see what he was about to do.


I lashed out. It was far from a bout-winning punch, more a half-dig.


Although I was acting on my nerves, I still knew I had the capacity to hurt Fergie and didn't want to do that, regardless of what he did or didn't have on his mind.


I caught him on the side of the face and he went down like a ton of bricks. Of all the stupid things I had done in my life, putting Fergie on his backside had just stormed straight to No.1 in the charts.


I gazed at my hand, and then down at my boss. It was as though he'd fallen to the floor in slow motion. But he bounced straight back up as though on a trampoline and began screaming at the top of his voice. He was looking at one of our coaches, Teddy Scott, but shouting at me. "F**k off McDougall, get to f**k back to Glasgow."


Then he told Teddy: "Get him out of here, he's f*****g finished."


And I didn't doubt him for a moment. It may have been 13 or 14 years since I'd last boxed but I hadn't lost the speed or accuracy, and that would be my downfall, I was sure of it.


I'd been in dozens of fights - legal and illegal - before that day but I felt sick to the pit of my stomach and perspiration dripped from my brow. I was 100 per cent sure I'd blown it.


Fergie stormed off and Teddy herded me out the dressing room and into an adjoining room. I could still feel the stares of team-mates drilling holes into the back of my head.


Teddy didn't say much, he didn't have to, but his look of despondency said it all. I was going through the whole gamut of emotions. Anger at myself and at Fergie for treating me in such a degrading manner in front of my team-mates, embarrassment, frustration and stupidity.


I eventually said to Teddy: "I've blown it, haven't I? My big chance and I've f*****g blown it. That self-destruct button."


He shook his head and said: "I'll speak to the gaffer. You go home and get a good night's kip. Train with the reserves tomorrow."


I nodded. Teddy fetched my clothes and I changed before sneaking out of the dressing room. The lads had started training and for once in my life I felt completely isolated.


I should have been with them. I hated training with a passion but for once in my life I sorely wanted to join in. I had a quick look round before heading off and they were just getting on with the routines.


I headed straight home and the journey was a lengthy one. Just me, alone with my thoughts in an Aberdeen taxi. Thankfully the driver didn't want to talk.


"Had I just landed one on the gaffer?" I'm afraid I had.


I was pottering around in the house, running the whole thing over and over again in my head. Why did I lash out? Was there really any need? Surely the gaffer wasn't about to thump me, so why did I feel the need to "get in there first"?


That night was one of the longest of my life. So many times I decided that the best course of action would be to drown my thoughts in litres of alcohol. Thankfully I resisted the temptation.


The following morning I was at the training ground early. I had decided that the moment I saw the gaffer I would apologise profusely.


It didn't happen that way. I spent the day - no, make that the entire week - dodging Fergie.


I checked every corridor and every room before I entered to make sure they were Fergie-free zones. It was fully seven days before I next clapped eyes on him at close hand.


There was no avoiding him this time.


I crept round a corner in Pittodrie and literally banged into him. He looked me straight in the eye and I mumbled what represented an apology. "Sorry, gaffer, I don't know what else to say."


He didn't once break his stare and said simply: "You can make it up to me on the pitch. I want you back in the team."


I thanked him from the bottom of my heart and he nodded and walked off. I was happier than Larry has ever been.


Peacemaker and ace diplomat, Teddy had once again worked his magic and while my crazy actions had cost me a fine of two weeks' wages, at least I still had a job.


But that whole incident sums up Fergie and he's still the same to this day. He refuses to loosen his grip on Manchester United and you can see that he is still bigger than the very biggest. A few, like Beckham and Stam, have tried to flex their muscles and failed.


McDou-GOAL! The Frank McDougall Story, by Frank McDougall and Jeff Holmes, is available now for only £9.99


Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'll definitely get this. What an amazing striker he was.


Would have been worth an absolute fortune in today's market


I believe he's still the last player to score hat tricks against the huns for different teams. His hat trick for St Mirren was done wearing a pair of Adidas Samba instead of football boots as well supposedly.  Legend.


Hopefully Santa is bringing me this along with Dunc's and Patrick Barclay's biography of Fergie.


Who says Dons fans live in the past*?  ;)




* I wish i did live in the past these days  :(





Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

Finished it last night, thought it was really good and slightly better than Shearer's book.


Particularly enjoyed all the stuff about his relationship with Fergie.  There's a few amusing stories, and there's lots of match detail which is good.  His retelling of the end to his playing career is very sad.


There's a great bit at the back where they've got the likes of SAF, Black, Stark, McLeish, McAvennie to write some comments about Frank.  Also included are some comments from players he played against such as Hegarty and Narey.


It doesn't sound like he'll be hanging about in Aberdeen for too long - he has his heart set on living in Brazil with his Brazilian wife.


One of the top three strikers I've ever seen play for the Dons.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...