Big Dunc's Big Regret
Moyes discusses his rift and reconciliation with former striker.
David Moyes has explained the circumstances that led him to bury the hatchet with Duncan Ferguson and welcome him back to Goodison Park.
Speaking as a guest at the Cambridge University Union on Monday night, Moyes revealed the pair went five years without speaking after the retiring Ferguson refused to shake hands following his final Everton appearance in 2006.
Ferguson subsequently moved his family to Majorca but reached out to his former boss in late 2011, prompting his eventual return to the Club as a youth-team coach.
"Duncan and I fell out at the end and he chose not to shake my hand when he left," Moyes explained. "The story goes that Duncan went away into exile for five years. We’d seen each other the odd time but there were no pleasantries.
"I then got a phone call from him and he asked to come and see me. He walked in and said that he regretted every day for five years that he didn’t shake my hand, so we made up.”
Having notched 72 goals in 273 games for the Club, Ferguson’s contribution as a player and the influence he could wield as a coach was never in doubt.
What convinced Moyes to bring him back though was an alteration in his attitude.
"He is a changed man, works at Everton day and night and has become a pro licensed coach,” he said. “I will always remember the change in the man. I have always admired the player but as a man he has turned himself around and is now fantastic.”
Moyes also confessed it was working with players like Ferguson – an opponent he had battled during his playing days up in Scotland – which made the Everton job so appealing at the start of his 11-year tenure back in 2002.
He said: “Duncan was an awesome centre forward. I played against him when he was at Dundee United as a youngster and eventually he was playing under me at Everton. We beat Manchester United 1-0 in 2005 and Duncan scored the goal and he was fantastic around that time.”