Fergie Week – Archivist: Fergie with Beckham, Scholes and Butt, 1996
Manchester, May 1996: Alex Ferguson (second left) poses with young Manchester United players (left to right) David Beckham, Paul Scholes and Nicky Butt at a charity dinner.
Fergie has been a second father to god knows how many young players, and his paternalistic nature shines through in this photo. The glow on his face? Pride in his kids. And United had just won the double. Fine wine may also have played a part.
Beckham, only just 21 and pre-Wimbledon lob, was already a star in his own mind: what a preener, what pout, what an appalling jacket straight off the peg at Top Man. Scholes, with his wonky bow tie, couldn’t be more different: he appears to think that posing for a picture involves Not. Moving. A. Muscle. (He couldn’t work a camera but he could work a football – Henry Winter, you can have that). Butt looks made up to be there – it’s an uncomplicated, charming grin; you might read it as the grin of a young man who can’t quite believe that he is a professional footballer at the best club in the country. Or it’s the wine.
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