During his early days at Manchester United, Wayne Rooney made a significant mistake when he called Sir Alex Ferguson for the first time, despite being warned not to. The revelation was made by former Manchester United sports therapist Rod Thornley, who was with Rooney on Three Lions’ duty when the incident occurred in 2004. Thornley explained that Rooney had asked him what he should call Sir Alex if he were to call him. Thornley advised him to call him ‘Sir Alex’ since he didn’t know him well enough. However, when Rooney eventually called Sir Alex, he referred to him as ‘Alex,’ which was a huge mistake.
Thornley knew that Sir Alex could be very particular about how people addressed him, and he didn’t like being called by his first name. He preferred to be addressed as ‘Sir Alex.’ Thornley had seen Sir Alex correct people who addressed him by his first name, reminding them that he was a knight and deserved to be addressed as such. Therefore, when Rooney made the mistake of calling him ‘Alex,’ Thornley knew that he had put himself in a difficult position.
Despite the initial hiccup, Rooney went on to become a Manchester United legend, winning five Premier League titles and the Champions League. He is also the club’s all-time leading scorer with 253 goals. Rooney spent 13 years at Old Trafford before returning to Everton in 2017. However, he has struggled to recapture his peak form either on the pitch or in the dugout since leaving Manchester United.
After a brief stint with DC United, Rooney became Derby County’s player-manager for two years. He returned to DC United as manager in July 2022, but his tenure has been mixed so far. Perhaps he should seek advice from Sir Alex on how to get the best out of his team.
In conclusion, Wayne Rooney’s mistake of calling Sir Alex Ferguson ‘Alex’ during his first phone call with the legendary manager was a significant gaffe. However, it did not affect his career at Manchester United, where he became a club legend. Rooney’s return to management has been mixed so far, and he may need to seek advice from Sir Alex on how to improve his team’s performance.