Ex-Manchester United star grows out his beard to 'annoy' his mother

Unrecognisable ex-Man United star admits he’s growing out his beard ‘because it annoys my mother’ and he can ‘channel my inner Gandalf’… but reveals he has been called ‘HOMELESS’ over his new look!

  • One former Man United star admits growing out his beard to annoy his mother
  • The long beard has attracted comments he is like Gandalf from Lord of the Rings
  • This four-time Premier League winner has no idea how long it will be in the end…

One former Man United legend started growing his beard as an experiment in lockdown, and despite being 59, it’s an attempt to annoy his mother.

He has been told that the new look makes him appear like Gandalf from Lord of the Rings – or that he might be homeless.

But in a new interview with FourFourTwo, Brian McClair is happy to talk about the length of his beard, and admits that he has no idea how long his experiment will continue.

In response to a Facebook question about how long McClair will grow his facial fair, the former forward responded: ‘I’m not too sure. I started it off as an experiment during lockdown. 

‘I have had it trimmed a few times, but it allows comments like I’m channelling my inner Gandalf, or allows me to reply to suggestions that I might be homeless. 

Brian McClair has confused supporters with his lockdown experiment to grow a long beard

McClair was part of four Premier League winning sides during his time at Manchester United

‘I think I do it because it annoys my mother…’ 

In the interview, he talks about his successful career in Scotland, and of course the glory days that came with being one of Man United’s best representatives.

During the 1990s in Manchester, there were two things on the culture hit-list: Manchester United and Oasis.

The Gallagher brothers Liam and Noel, who found fame with the Britpop band, were helpers with a car washing business for footballers at their beloved Man City – and United too.

McClair said he was handed a tape of early Oasis songs, before their global fame, and that older brother Noel was ‘quite partial to a Penguin’ and coffee during his work washing the star’s car.

While he has had no interaction with Noel since those early days, he did have a run-in with Liam Gallagher later on – and fellow Man United legend Nicky Butt.

McClair said: ‘We were out somewhere and he was saying to Nicky Butt, “I’m the hardest in Oasis. You think you’re the hardest at United? Let’s sort this out – we’ll have a scrap”.

Noel (L) and Liam Gallagher used to wash cars for Manchester players before finding fame

Liam Gallagher threatened to scrap with Man United legend Nicky Butt in a later meeting

‘There hadn’t been any conversation or fall-out, and Liam wasn’t drunk. It was funny. A fight didn’t happen. Butty just said “Pfft, whatever…”‘


Premier League: 1992-93, 1993-94, 1995-96, 1996-97

FA Cup: 1989-90, 1993-94, 1995-96

League Cup: 1991-92

Charity Shield: 1990, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997

UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup: 1990-91

UEFA Super Cup: 1991  

Over the past two years, ‘Choccy’, as McClair is known because of the similarity to eclair, has run the Life With Brian podcast – as another experimental thing the former Celtic and Scotland striker set up during the pandemic. 

In an interview with Mail Sport back in February, McClair said he was always happy to interact with fans – if they recognised him, and accepted that he was who he said that he was. 

He said it led to bizarre situations where his friends were asked for autographs – despite sitting next to them. 

McClair was one of Sir Alex Ferguson’s first signings at Manchester United in 1987, and he played at Old Trafford for 11 years, scoring 127 goals in his time there. 

His spell with the club coincided with one of Man United’s most glistening spells as perennial trophy winners, with 15 competition wins during McClair’s time, including four Premier League titles.  

He also returned to the Red Devils, spending over a decade on the coaching staff, eventually as director of the youth academy. 

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