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Rio reveals Fergie’s speech to young players at Stadium of Light

Speaking at his book launch for his autobiography, “My Decade As A Red”, Rio Ferdinand talked about how Sir Alex Ferguson inspired the players to reclaim the league title last season.

“It was weird,” said Rio. “All of last season, because all of the credits were all Man City winning and that goal, you’re watching TV thinking to yourself ‘they’ve got to move on now, surely’. Things like that irritate you. When we were in the stadium we just heard a noise and it was the Sunderland fans screaming and cheering. Afterwards on the coach I was thinking about why they were even cheering, what they had to gain from that. But the manager came in after and he was speaking more to the young players, especially the younger ones that hadn’t won anything, and said ‘do not forget this day. Remember these fans and make sure that you’re coming back here at some point as champions and rub it in their face.’ It wasn’t so much what he said, but the way he said it. Everything he said, there was a meaning behind it and there was a forcefulness behind it. It was more that than the words he said that hit home and made you think about next season.”

Ramsin Isaac was at the event on behalf of RoM. Follow him on Twitter.

About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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  1. Andromeda says:

    Never forget that day, not until my last breath.

  2. obi4red says:

    Never forget this day, it will win you titles.

  3. WeAreUnited says:

    they als osaid come back when you have 19.

    #20 and counting,

  4. Rukky says:

    The great man

  5. Tytylorphe01 says:

    Its now a decade i become a Rio ferdy’s fan. Love UNITED with passion

  6. samme says:

    I miss him already though i support Moyes. But i grew up with Sir Alex!

  7. I love Ralph Milne says:

    As if they would ever forget that day. I still wake up nightly in a hot sweat with Aguueerroo screaming in my lugs. Don’t necessarily blame the mackems for their reaction. A bit small time yes but we aren’t liked and it doesn’t bother me and it shouldn’t bother players and fans.

  8. Norman-85 says:

    Last home game of this coming season…… versus Sunderland :-)
    Wouldn’t it be sweet to be lifting the trophy on that day AND maybe consigning that horrible little club to the Championship on the same day?

  9. stefer says:

    Are you joking Sunderland will probably finish above you lot . Hope we do play you last game of the season and the cheers will be even louder when city win the league

  10. MUFCJord says:

    What a legend.

  11. Planetx6 says:

    Siege mentality

  12. Mackemdave says:

    @Norman 85 – That “horrible little club” did more than anyone else to help you win the title that year as we took 4 points off City (more than the rest of the Prem managed) and gifted you 6. Without that you’d have been nowhere near the title on the last day! And as we regularly get smashed by you lot and beat City at our place surely it’s in your best interests that we stay up! And you can’t possibly think that any other club wouldn’t have done the same at the end of the match! Personally I think most of us would have liked to have seen the premier league trophy as we’re unlikely too any other way!

  13. Hamzah says:

    Sums up sir Alex doesn’t it?
    I started supporting United after Sexton was appointed in 1977 but it seems that it has always been Sir Alex.
    When he retired towards the end of last season I was in denial! Although you know it will eventually come when it happens you can never be ready.
    Lets hope Moyes bags the league this season.
    I believe it’s huge for the psychology of the club and that it could be essential for the continues success that Sir Alex has seemed to install in the chemistry of the club.
    On the transfer front I do believe that we need a midfield enforcer other than that if we stay injury free I believe we have a great chance of retaining our crown.

  14. Red4ever says:

    @ Mackemdave

    Fuck off you bitch go to your sissy blackass blog dont come hear and dare say anything ,, ur club is horrible little cunt the way they celebrated after shitty win still pisses me off so get off you stuck up little bitch

  15. Hamzah says:


    You have a point there mate.
    I’ve always thought Sunderland gave our rivals rough times.
    It was probably your fans just rubbing it in after we beat you that night.
    Sir Alex took advantage of that to psych his team up for the following season, and it worked!
    The man is just a genius!

  16. Howesafc says:

    You main rivals score in the last minute to take the title away from you reverse roles which will never happen you would have done the same, if you had won the title that day we would have applauded you we really didn’t care who won the title

  17. Whiteside says:

    Actually i’m gonna defend Mackemdave here. He’s right, what club’s fans wouldn’t have done the same, including our own? He’s also right, they’ve done us favours over the years and it’s also where many of our old players go into semi-retirement. I save my contempt for mothers like Wet Spam. As well as the obvious, dippers, bitters, scummers.

  18. Whiteside says:

    Oh and the rentboys, of course.

  19. Hamzah says:


    I don’t think the abusive language was called for mate.
    The guy made some valid points and was respectful.

  20. TheCANTONA says:

    So much for delusional. Are u a scouse in disguise?

    Fair play. But our former manager, the great man that is SAF used it as a fuel to burns our youngsters spirit and we won the league at the canter even without our wingers hits their prime.

  21. Soleil de Terre says:

    Red4ever illustrates perfectly why the roar was so loud in Sunderland that day. It’s actually not Man Utd that the rest of the league’s fans despise (in fact it is a great club), it’s the peripheral hangers on like Red4ever who turn other supporters against them
    I first went to Old Trafford in 1949 and saw them beat Portsmouth 2-0. I remember standing on the terraces with my uncle thinking this is my club now. And it was. I cried with the nation for the victims of the Munich air crash, I remember exactly where I was & what I was doing when the horrific news came through. I was as fanatical & committed to Man U as any other fan.

    Then came the mid-1970s, when The Red Army ripped up trains and ran riot at away grounds when relegated to Division 2, & I had to distance myself from the club’s “fans”. I was ashamed to display my scarf and Man U badges.

    Both my sons had been born in Durham and I joined them as a Sunderland ‘convert’ and have followed them proudly down to the 3rd tier and all through the yo-yo days, including the abysmal 15 point season. Sunderland fans are among the cream of football fans anywhere in the world.

    So, Red4ever, if you really want to know why the SOL reacted the way it did last season, look in the mirror. YOU and your like are the sole reason for the unpopularity of MUFC, it has nothing to do with envy. The club is brilliant, but enough fans are like you to make the rest of us feel “Anybody But United”.

  22. einsi01 says:

    don’t post here much, but it’s beyond my understanding what drives fans of other teams to post here?! Stefer. What’s your problem?? The kids don’t listen to you anymore? The wife cheating on you? They probably don’t and she probably does, but please leave that elsewhere and fuck off.

  23. Hamzah says:

    Some rival fans have a valud point to make and I respect that.
    Mackemdave & Howesafc both put forward a valid argument and they put forward in a respectful way.
    Such contribution in my view should be welcomed and encouraged.
    As for people like stefer, they just post nonsense to get a reaction and work people up.
    They best way to deal with such people is to just ignore them totally.
    You may disagree with me mate but this just my humble opinion.

  24. orez says:


    Well put man. Respectfull and thoughtfull contribution to the blog are always welcome.

  25. einsi01 says:

    @Hamazah. I agree mate, totally.
    Constructive point from other fans can be in itself interesting. But still don’t get what drives them to hang out here on ROM.

  26. Soleil de Terre says:

    By way of explanation, and speaking only for myself, I don’t hang out here or on any other fan blog sites. However, the great Rio Ferdinand has been speaking about ‘that’ day and mentioned the word ‘Sunderland’. I follow ‘News Now’ which flags up every reference to Sunderland and I read how Sir Alex inspired young MU players after the SOL reaction to City’s winning goal. When I scrolled down to read comments I came across the foul-mouthed rant from Red4ever and felt obliged to point out to him & his kind that THEY are the object of derision, NOT MUFC.
    BTW, Old Trafford is the only away ground at which I have ever been threatened with violence and chased through the streets! And that has nothing to do with the team or the club.

  27. Red4ever says:

    @ einsi01
    They hang out here coz there are no one on their blog mate no other point

    And sorry for such language but it just pisses me their behaviour call me abusive but not going to tolarate other team fans this MANC so other bitters sod offf

  28. Mackemdave says:

    @ red4ever: :-) I don’t hang out on any blogs, MUFC, SAFC or otherwise. I read newsnow on the Sunderland page and this was one of the links.

    @ everybody else: cheers for showing that most of us are intelligent football fans and I look forward to our usual two thrashings, especially now you’ve apointed a manager we’ve managed to beat once in about 19 attemtps! ;-)

  29. slim says:

    is there a game on tonight or what? if this is all i have to look forward to tonight then i’m definitely going out for a drink

  30. stefer says:

    Eisni01 the link was on safc website not specifically reading a man utd website why would l when the man city one is a much better read and god I hope they put you in your place this season they proper mancs they all live there! Not like all you man utd cockneys ….in Paolo di canio we trust .ftm

  31. Hamzah says:


    You mock reds who are not from Manchester then you put your trust in an Italian to lead your team :-)
    So it’s ok to have non local owners, players and managers but not ok to have fans outside the locality of your team?
    Come on mate, that’s really silly and immature.
    I’ve supported United since the start of the 1977 season, was to old Trafford once in 1980 and moved back to my home county but never stopped following the team through newspapers, BBC world service till the media boom made it possible to follow the team closer!
    Does the fact I was born thousands of miles away from Old Trafford make me less of a supporter or deny me the right to follow the team I love? Of make me as you say less of a proper red?

  32. stefer says:

    Not at all hamzah you seem a decent bloke . Was trying to hook another giant bite from eisni01 . I have absolutely nothing against man utd hope moyes is as successful as sir Alex but can’t see it mate

  33. wayne says:

    Global game if a team doesn’t have fans outside it’s own area going nowhere or ends up going bin diving in Italy,how many Italians playing for Sunderland these days?

  34. RoundAreWay says:

    Never been a big fan of Rio but some good insight into what makes SAF the incredible person he is.
    Cant get worked up about the reaction of the Sunderland fans…we’ve moved on and won the league again. Most fans would have reacted the same way. No need to criticise them as a small club, they have a great history and tradition. We are United , we are ALWAYS the story, I would rather save my contempt for they likes of West Ham, Stoke etc who consider us rivals whilst barely existing in the same universe. Good luck to Sunderland next season, a genuine woking class club, a rarity in the premier league.

  35. stefer says:

    Just the 2 Italians playing for us Wayne or and then there is the 7 Italian staff lol

  36. A T Hedley says:

    There are web sites full of abuse vitriol and hate for other teams but although we love our club at Sunderland we love football and take pleasure in discussing the game with other clubs including our arch rivals Newcastle. We may not admire Fergie but admire his ability and we respect the ability to build more winning teams than most clubs have hot dinners. As a club we have appreciated your managers willingness to loan players to us as he mist have valued our ability to bring something to their game. OK we were more often than not disappointed when we wanted to keep them and you wouldn’t sell.

    Only juveniles are incapable of banter or accepting that you can tease without malice. you and City gave the League one of the most exciting ends to a season we have seen in my 64 years of supporting Sunderland. What happened at the end of your match was teasing and would have been aimed at any club in your shoes. Yes your heart were broken but most of you are grown men fed on a surfeit of success to abuse and disrespect our club is the reaction of spoilt children and I is gratifying to see so many mature and reasoned points made by many of your posters as opposed to the yah boo inarticulate contributors.

    I hope we manage to beat you but partially because it is what we all want with every club but there is something very gratifying in beating the best but there is no malice in it and I hope you continue to make this season one filled with the quality of football that you are capable of producing game after game.

    To those head in the sand, don’t come on our boards, posters your lives and education might be a lot richer if you had more visitors. Listening to people who agree with you all the time can be terribly boring

  37. Capitano says:

    Boy ohh boy! That argument again that United fans living in Msnchester r more of fans than the ones abroad. “United won’t b what it is without all of us! why should you hate on pple who buy United marchandise and pay cable to watch every of United matches??”

  38. Sanddancer says:

    Man, oh, man. I’ve read some shite on other boards, but ‘horrible little club’? Really? Just shows what you don’t know. You’re ignorant, at best, Norman85. A complete fucking eejit more likely.
    Sunderland are a big, big club. But then you’venever been and wouldnt know. 40,000 local fans season after season after the crap we’ve been served up tells it all.
    As others have said I came here from a newsnow link. I don’t give a shit about Man U but I will defend the Lads when attacked by a prick like norman85 (his IQ?). Sorry your feelings were hurt, pet. Get over it. And don’t bother replying tosser because I won’t be back to read it.
    Hats off to those other reasonable Man U fans who’ve posted.

  39. marcusblackcat says:

    I remember SAFC getting relegated on the last day at Old Trafford a few years ago. The united fans did exactly the same to us (only it was a lot Mir utd fans did it to Sunderland fans than the other way around). A lot of our fans used city’s success to get back for that one year as we remember it (I was there). I never cheered once. I love united (second team since childhood). So Ferguson using a couple of thousand of our fans (and believe me it was not many more than that) is stupid.

    As gas been saud, we triedvyo help utd win the league by being the only team to get anything off city at city but it was United’s failure not anything to Di with our fans.

  40. Hamzah says:

    @A T Hedley says:

    Top post mate.

  41. Scott says:

    Sanddancer – 40k season after season? 40k some seasons. Most seasons, much less than that.

    Erm, not quite:,historical,attendances.html


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