Indeed, it was a great piece of news for the press who seized upon it, continually bringing it into the limelight emphasising the breakdown in relationship between player and manager.
Ultimately it resulted in the £25 million pound transfer of David Beckham to Real Madrid and the end of the career of United's beloved number 7.
Later on, Mikael Silvestre revealed what actually happened in the dressing room. He admitted the incident happened but said it was just an accident. He was quoted saying "I was taking my boots off myself, when he stormed in. He was irritated, but he wasn't intending to injure him [Beckham]. He often threw things in the dressing room, but that day he happened to throw a boot at the player he was talking to."
Following the bust up between Beckham and Sir Alex, many United faithful blamed the Scot for the incident which sent one of the very best that Manchester United have produced to a foreign league.
Beckham was one of 'Fergie's Fledgings' which included the likes of the mercurial Ryan Giggs and the ginger prince Paul Scholes who brought them so many titles. So why would Sir Alex let go of his best? Is Sir Alex to be blamed for Beckham's departure?
As we all know,Sir Alex is infamous for his hair dryer treatment which would strike fear into players who ever cost the team a win."Thou hath seen no wrath like Sir Alex Ferguson's", is what I believe.
Over the years,many of our players have experienced this wrath and have grown to become the players they are today. Lets just consider this, if the incident had never happened would Beckham have spent his entire career at his boyhood club? Some would say yes but I say no.
As with all players nowadays (with the notables exceptions of Giggs and Scholes) ,with their rise to fame comes the desire to ply their trade in other places where they can add to their achievements, and was known for his love of the limelight. Indeed this fame which followed Beckham's every move was one which irritated Ferguson.
Beckham in his United career had already obtained all the major titles the Premier League had to offer. So sooner or later it was eminent that Beckham would leave for another club in search for new challenges and more success.
Cristiano Ronaldo's departure is an example where after serving six seasons in a United shirt, winning all major titles, he opted to part ways to add a new chapter in his career.If not for the boot incident, Beckham would likely have left Manchester United the same way that Cristiano Ronaldo did.
But leaving when he did, enabled Cristiano Ronaldo to sign with Ronaldo in 2003. The boot incident may have sped up Beckham's departure. Ronaldo himself changed the course of United, had he not been there would the club have won the Champions League in 2008? Would he have signed with one of their Premier League rivals instead?
While United lost Beckham, they gained Ronaldo, so the club did not suffer as a result of the transfer activity that summer, even if the Portuguese winger took a little while to hit the heights he now performs at.
Like all Manchester United fans, I too would have never wanted Beckham to leave the club the way he did. But it cannot be undone. As a supporter If I had one wish, I would love to see Beckham play in the Manchester United colours again along with Giggsy and Scholesy before he hangs up his boots for good. However unlikely, that for me would be a dream come true.
image: © arcane ramblings