Nineteen years down the line, the upshot of a manager telling a player to crop off a planned, uncanny hairstyle just moments preceding a crucial game could be nothing short of a noxious bust-up which would effectively drag the whole team’s focus into turmoil.
Can you imagine any coach in recent times preventing a certain Paul Pogba or Mario Ballotelli from going on-pitch because the colors of their hair-dye did not quite suit the gaffer, or because they were…well..wearing a mohawk?
The outcome might be downright cataclysmic. Unless the player handled the manager’s directive the same way David Beckham did when Sir Alex Ferguson ordered him to shave his mohawk off before a Manchester United game.
The former Manchester United player reveals that he had gotten a mohawk-style haircut prior to United’s Charity Shield clash with Chelsea in 2000, but was made to trim it off in the dressing room as soon as the no-nonsense Ferguson saw it.
With United commemorating the 20th anniversary of their 1999 Treble season, Beckham told Otro: ‘I walked in the changing room and he hadn’t seen it because I was too scared to even show him.’
‘I’d gone into training the day before with a beanie on, trained in a beanie, gone back, walked in the hotel, had a beanie on, had dinner, beanie on, breakfast beanie on, bus on way to stadium – beanie.
‘Then as I got ready for the game I took it off, he said “go and shave it off”.
‘I giggled and he was like “no, I’m serious. Go and shave it off”. So I had to find a pair of clippers and I shaved it off in Wembley Stadium. Manager always rules.’
The former United no.7 explained that his love for fashion had cropped up during childhood, and noted that Fergie would not have been fazed by it now as he had back then.
‘It’s a lot more normal to do it these days, it’s a lot more normal to have a mohawk or a tattoo on your neck or wear coloured boots.
‘When we were growing up the manager wouldn’t let us even step on a pitch wearing a pair of red boots or a pair of white boots.
‘Simple as that. Things like that have definitely changed.
‘Even when I was seven-eight years old I wanted to go to a barbers and have my hair cut in a certain way that nobody else had or I always wanted to wear something that was different to what my mates were wearing.’