I went viral for 'scare' Sir Alex Ferguson with a balloon and I thought I would lose my job at Man United


Former Manchester United manager Mike Phelan said Sir Alex Ferguson saw the funny side of his famous balloon burst incident.

Phelan, however, thought his time as Fergie's assistant on united man due to his boss's reaction.


Phelan was a key part of Ferguson's backroom staff in the Scot's final years at Old Trafford, but one moment made him famous.Credit: getty

In 2008, Man United played Chelsea at Stamford Bridge with both in their usual positions next to each other on the bench.

Phelan was distracted by a balloon bouncing in front of him while Fergie and the rest of the backroom team watched the action. And when Phelan took advantage of the moment to get rid of the balloon, the television cameras captured it all.

Ferguson, who had been completely engrossed in the game, jumped out of his skin as he reacted to the blow as his number 2 popped it under his foot.

“I had no sense of humor at that time!” Phelan joked as she told the story to White and Jordan on talkSPORT.

“It was one of those moments where you've done everything, you go out on the field and you know when something gets into your head. It wasn't because the game was going.

“I saw a balloon bouncing and I thought 'if the balloon is coming towards me it's having it,' you know? And that attraction of a balloon coming towards you and swinging in front of you while the games are going on.

“I just picked it up and opened it, I never thought about that! But I started laughing. I thought it was funny!”

Phelan's intrusive thoughts took over and he popped the balloon under his foot.


Phelan's intrusive thoughts took over and he popped the balloon under his foot.Credit: YouTube
Ferguson didn't seem very impressed at the time!


Ferguson didn't seem very impressed at the time!Credit: YouTube
Phelan couldn't help but laugh as he retold the story.


Phelan couldn't help but laugh as he retold the story.Credit: talkSPORT

Unfortunately for the former Man United player, at the time his boss had a… slightly different reaction!

Smiling as he continued his story, Phelan added: “But when you look back, you could see the bench watching the game, you can see the coach, the intensity of the game he was in and I was just relaxing and I just blew.” this balloon up.

“And he got furious! He went crazy! To be fair, I thought that was the end of my job!”

If there was one thing the Red Devils players and staff knew since Ferguson was in charge, it was to avoid being on their wrong side.

Jaap Stam, David BeckhamRoy Keane and Ruud van Nistelrooy are among the legendary players who left Old Trafford after falling out with him.

However, in the end all was well between Phelan and Ferguson, with the Scot even laughing about the incident the following day.

“He got the scare of his life!” Phelan said.

“But he saw the funny side the next day because I think his grandchildren mentioned it or had seen it, so I think they were taking the mickey out of him for that!”

Phelan played for Man United in the 1990s and began working as a first-team coach in 2001, when Steve McClaren left.

He landed his assistant role in 2008 and together, Phelan and Ferguson won three Premier League titles, the Champions League, a FIFA Club World Cup and two League Cups.

They also reached the Champions League final twice in 2009 and 2011, losing to Barcelona on both occasions.

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