Sir Alex Ferguson today aimed a swipe at Wolves over the management of his son Darren – and admitted wife Cathy never forgave him for the sale.
Fergie sold Darren to Wolves in February 1994 for £250,000 but then Wolves manager Graham Turner was sacked within a month. His autobiography hit the streets today and in it, he points the finger at Wolves after the midfielder struggled to make an impression under Graham Taylor, Mark McGhee and Colin Lee.
“The problem was keeping him (Darren) in the team,” said Ferguson.
“Cathy never forgave me for selling him. He started the first 15 games in the year we won the league for the first time.
“But in a Scotland Under-21s game, he sustained a really bad hamstring tear that kept him on the sidelines for three months.
“That was him out until February, and by that time, Bryan Robson was back fit.
“Neil Webb, Mick Phelan and Paul Ince were also on the scene.
“Then Roy Keane became available for £3.75m. That killed Darren as a first-team player. So we sold him to Wolves, a club in turmoil, with big expectations and a large fan base.
“I watched Darren play there a lot. He was easily the best footballer, but they changed manager so many times after Graham Turner was sacked. Graham Taylor, Mark McGhee, Colin Lee.
“When McGhee came in, his appearances started to dwindle.”
But he was full of praise for Denis Irwin, who came to Wolves on a free transfer after leaving Old Trafford in 2003 and helped the Molineux men win promotion to the Premier League in his first season.
“Now there was a player, Denis Irwin,” he said.
“We always called him eight out of 10 Denis.”
Ferguson was, however, gushing with praise for Albion after his final game ended 5-5 at The Hawthorns in May.
“West Brom handled it with real class and looked after me perfectly. Later they sent me the team sheet signed by both sets of players,” he wrote.
“Most of my family were with me, three sons, eight grandchildren and one or two close friends. It was a joy to have them there and for us to experience the final instalment together. Our family reached out as one.
“Descending the steps of the team bus outside West Brom my intention was to savour every moment. It was not too hard for me to let go because I knew the time was right.”
Albion came back from 5-2 down with 10 minutes to go to draw 5-5 on the final game of last season’s Premier League.
He wrote: “If I needed a result to epitomise what Manchester United were about it came in game No. 1,500, my last. West Bromwich Albion 5 Manchester United 5. Crazy. Wonderful. Entertaining. Outrageous.”
Fergie also spoke about Wolves in the book, specifically how they handled his son Darren’s five-year tenure at Molineux.