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[8] Alex Ferguson remembers a spat with a Cowdenbeath tea lady

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  • [8] Alex Ferguson remembers a spat with a Cowdenbeath tea lady

    Fergie’s Fledglings by Wayne Barton here - interviews with the youngsters who shaped Fergie’s early years

    "In one of the games at Cowdenbeath, I was up against Andy Kinnell, the Cowden centre half, who used to kick lumps out of everybody. We had a running battle through the game. In the tea room after the match, I was attacked by the tea lady. 'You hit my boy,' she said to me. She was Andy Kinnell's mother! I was rescued by Andy Matthew, the Cowden manager, who pretended there was a phone call for me. One time, when I was manager of St Mirren, we were drawn against Cowdenbeath in the Scottish Cup. It was an all-ticket game. When we got through to Cowdenbeath, the ground was brick hard. I went into the local sports shop which was owned by Willie Cunningham - who played for and managed Dunfermline and St Mirren - and I bought 12 pairs of baseball boots. The Cowden players wore ordinary boots - and by half-time, they were 3-0 up! The Cowdenbeath manager, Frank Connor, used to sit on a bench on the side of the track. He didn't like a decision by the referee, and he threw the bench onto the pitch! I said to him, 'Jesus Christ, Frank, you're three goals up and you're throwing a bench onto the pitch!' Cowdenbeath Football Club is a smashing wee club. It's the epitome of the lower league clubs who struggle a lot and have good times and bad times. They always have great stories at their heart. All managers should start at clubs like Cowdenbeath, and learn their trade. You have to learn the basics about budgets and wages. When I started as manager at East Stirling, there were only seven signed players. I had to find another five. It was a steep learning curve."
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