Inside McTominay's relationship with Sir Alex Ferguson as he reveals what intimidating Man Utd legend told him as a kid | The Sun
SIR ALEX FERGUSON has always been a big fan of fellow Scotsman Scott McTominay – and will be even more delighted after Saturday's win against Brentford.
The pair go way back to when the midfielder joined Old Trafford at the age of FIVE, with McTominay revealing what the intimidating Manchester United legend said to him when he was a kid.
McTominay joined the Red Devils in 2002 when Fergie was in charge and has credited the Scottish Old Trafford legend throughout his career.
Being known for his disciplinary style, Sir Alex was regarded as a guiding father figure by McTominay.
But the midfielder was left speechless when in the presence of the great during his academy days at the Red Devils.
While McTominay was born in Lancaster his dad was from Helensburgh – a coastal town on the north side of the Firth of Clyde in Scotland.
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His Scottish heritage may have helped his close relationship with Sir Alex.
COMPARED TO BECKHAM
McTominay established himself as a key player under Ole Gunner Solskjaer in the 2018-2019 season.
But Sir Alex had always been impressed with McTominay's character and work ethic.
Fergie told the Scottish FA in 2021: "Scott McTominay is now emerging as one of Man United's big players.
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"When you watch Man United pick their team for a big game, McTominay's name is in it. He's a good character, a great trainer."
The former United boss also revealed that McTominay reminded him of a young David Beckham.
He said: "Scott was a wee bit like David Beckham. When he joined us, he was just a wee small lad and then, all of a sudden, whoosh, he just shot up.
“David didn’t even get into our youth team the year we won the FA Youth Cup until the semi-final.
“It’s a growing thing. Paul Scholes was just a small lad, but he sprouted up to 5ft 8in, the height he is now. Scott was a skelf of a boy, then he sprouted when he became an apprentice."
McTominay made seven appearances for Man Utd's Under-18s between 2013 and 2015 but struggled due to his small size.
However, after growing 14 inches in two years he began to shine like England superstar Beckham in the 2018 term by making 22 appearances for Solskjaer's side.
PLAYING FOR SCOTLAND
Early on in McTominay's senior career, he was trapped in a tug-of-war between representing England or Scotland.
Born in Lancaster, McTominay was destined to play for the Three Lions but he also qualified for Scotland through his father.
In 2018 both national team bosses wanted the midfielder in the international arena after his impressive start to the campaign.
That was when Fergie stepped in.
McTominay revealed the words of advice Fergie gave him in 2018: "When I was in the development centres I was in and around The Cliff (the United training ground).
"Alex Ferguson was there and he spoke to my dad. After the memorial service for the Munich Disaster earlier this year he pulled me aside and told me: ‘Make sure you do play for Scotland!’"
He heeded that advice.
At 21-years-old McTominay made his debut for Scotland in a 1-0 defeat in a friendly against Costa Rica.
Ferguson revealed why he persuaded McTominay to play for Scotland to the Daily Record: "It was his father’s heritage.
"It would be difficult for him to go back to Scotland and say to his own father, ‘I'm playing for England’. The sensible thing is to play for Scotland and Scott will get plenty of games for Scotland."
The Scottish international has now made 43 appearances for his country and has become a hero for the Tartan Army in the Euro 2024 qualifiers.
He scored both goals in an historic 2-0 win over Spain, netted another double against Cyprus and also banged in goals against Georgia and again against Cyprus.
TRIBUTE TO LADY CATHY
Fast forward to today, Ferguson has been in mourning for his beloved wife Cathy who sadly passed away on Friday.
Tributes have been pouring in from across the football world since.
McTominay's homage in particular showed just how close the Scottish pair are.
In an Instagram post, the midfielder shared a rare pic of himself as a youngster with Sir Alex.
He captioned the photo: "This picture I will cherish forever. Sending my condolences to Sir Alex Ferguson & family. The world is thinking of you 🌹🤍 Rest in peace, Cathy."
But no other tribute to Sir Alex's loss was as fitting as McTominay's performance in Saturday's clash against Brentford.
With the grieving Ferguson not present at the game McTominay made the most of Fergie Time.
In stoppage time Manchester United found themselves one goal down to the Bees and heading for a third home league defeat on the bounce.
But McTominay stepped off the bench with two save-the-day strikes, scoring in the 93rd and 97th minutes.
He was only chucked on, in increasing desperation, with three of the regulation 90 minutes to go.
His star-studded goals were like a modern-day Solskjaer who under Ferguson was infamous for his knack of coming off the bench to score last-minute belters.
It's been a long journey since McTominay first met Ferguson.
Now the Manchester United player has the confidence to pay tribute to his former manager's wife and the footballing ability to score vital goals.
But when he was just five, McTominay was terrified of Fergie.
In an interview on BBC's Match of the Day, McTominay told of his earliest experiences: "Sir Alex. Yeah, whenever we saw him in the canteen, he would just say, 'Are you behaving yourself?'
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"You'd just be quiet. You'd never know what to say.
"Especially with him being from Scotland, I think it was special, and he invited us up whenever I signed my scholarship with all the players in the dressing room, it was a Fulham game in the Premier League."
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