Sir Alex was told "go f*** yourself" by snooker hero Doherty

April 22, 2022
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Snooker legend Ken Doherty might have been crowned world champion in 1997, but he came very close to missing the chance to parade the trophy at Old Trafford.

In fact, it's small wonder the avid Manchester United fan was given the honour at all after telling Sir Alex Ferguson to "go f*** himself." Luckily for Doherty, the iconic manager was slightly more forgiving towards the Northern Irishman than he was towards football referees back then.

Doherty was the resounding underdog when he came up against Stephen Hendry in the final at The Crucible. At that point, the Scotsman had never lost a final at Sheffield, and was undoubtedly the leading player on the planet.

However, it was the man from Ranelagh who stunned everyone with an 18-12 win, becoming only the third player from outside England and Wales to become world champion. And afterwards, he received a congratulatory call from Sir Alex himself, even if he didn't quite believe it at first.

"The voice at the other end went, 'Kenny, Alex Ferguson here, I know you are a big Manchester United fan, how about parading that trophy up at Old Trafford?' and I told him to go f*** himself!" he recalled, to the Daily Mail.

"I thought it was my mate joking! He goes, 'Kenny, I'm not going to ask you twice, it's Alex Ferguson' and I said, 'Sorry Mr Ferguson'." It wasn't the only silverware on offer to the fans, with United having also captured one of their 20 top flight titles in that campaign.

Would any football referee have survived telling Sir Alex to 'go f*** himself'? Let us know in the comments section.

Ken Doherty shows off his trophy at Old Trafford back in 1997
Ken Doherty shows off his trophy at Old Trafford back in 1997

"I went up the day they were picking up the Premiership trophy against West Ham," continued Doherty. "It was incredible. The roar I got walking out at Old Trafford was one of the most memorable days of my life."

Doherty would later reach two more world finals, in 1998 and 2001. He was beaten by John Higgins and Mark Williams respectively, and it was that 1997 tournament which would prove the defining moment in his career.

He has since become a snooker pundit although still competes at professional level. However, now 52, he has had to rely on a wildcard invitation for the last two seasons.

This post appeared first on Daily Star - Snooker.

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