The former Red Devils striker revealed he asked his manager for a long break after the 1999 treble-winning season – with a predictable reaction
Dwight Yorke has revealed he asked legendary Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson for a year off after helping the club to their historic treble triumph in 1999.
The Trinidad and Tobago international forward was a key figure as United won the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League in the 1998-99 campaign, a trio of trophies which has never since been matched by an English club in the same season.
Yorke scored 29 goals in 52 appearances in all competitions that season – and clearly felt his efforts warranted a significant rest, revealing he made the bold move of going into Ferguson’s office and asking for a year off to celebrate and recuperate.
He told the UTD Podcast: “Yeah (he asked Sir Alex for a year off), with pay. I mean what else is there to do in football after winning the treble?
“I was on such a high. It was ridiculous. Concorde was flying back then and I remember we went to New York. Back in the days they used to put you up with the pilot. I got to New York and I thought ‘what else is there to achieve after this?’ because everything else will be a failure or deemed as a failure.
“I went into the gaffer’s office and said ‘what are we doing? After winning the treble there’s nothing to do. Can I have a year off from football with pay? Then I’ll come back the next year and rejoin the team’.
“I honestly don’t know what made me think that. What more could we possibly do as a team? Yeah we could repeat it but if you don’t then the team is a failure. If there was a time you were going to ask the gaffer for anything, that was it. I didn’t have anything to lose.
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“He could only tell me to f*** off, which he did. He said ‘f*** off and get lost’. It was jokingly but if he had said to take a year off then I would have done. But I knew that wasn’t going to happen so I thought it was worth a try.”
United won the Premier League by a single point from Arsenal in the 1998-99 season, before defeating Newcastle United 2-0 in the FA Cup final.
The treble was completed in dramatic style in the Champions League final at Barcelona‘s Camp Nou, with injury-time strikes from Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer earning a 2-1 victory over Bayern Munich.