Game of Thrones: When Ned Stark actor Sean Bean rowed with Premier League boss Neil Warnock and ‘made his wife cry’
Game of Thrones has entered its final season and just like many of its characters, Premier League bosses are currently trying to avoid the chop.
Famed for its high mortality rate, the show used to star former Sheffield United director Sean Bean – a man who once rowed with Neil Warnock and, allegedly, made his wife and son cry.
Bean, who played luckless Ned Stark in the HBO hit, is a famous Blades fan and was on the club’s board for five years between 2002 and 2007.
He helped the club get themselves back into the Premier League for the first time since their 1994 relegation when Warnock led the team to a second place Championship finish in 2006.
The one-year spell back in the top-flight didn’t go to plan though, with Sheffield United succumbing to relegation on the final day of the campaign with a creditable 39-point haul.
And it was here Bean and Warnock clashed in what we’d like to think was coined the Battle of the Bastards – just like episode nine of Game of Thrones’ sixth season.
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The actor is said to have claimed the board felt Warnock was out of his depth in the top flight, even though Warnock almost guided the Blades to safety.
They nearly got a reprieve too, when it was found West Ham’s use of Carlos Tevez during the campaign was in breach of Premier League rules relating to third-party ownership, although in the end they were paid £30million in damages by the Hammers.
On the final day of the campaign Sheffield United lost 2-1 to Wigan Athletic at Bramall Lane with David Unsworth relegating the team he left on a free transfer just five months earlier.
It was here that Bean gave Warnock what for, according to the now Cardiff City boss.
He claimed in his book Made in Sheffield: “I got back to my office and my best mate, Paul Evans, was waiting for me. My wife Sharon, and the kids Amy and William were there, too.
“Sharon had been crying and the kids knew why she was so upset. It wasn’t just the football. Not just because of the result.
“Twenty minutes or so after the game had ended, Sharon and William were sitting in my office when the film actor, Sean Bean, who is a Sheffield United board director, burst in with his girlfriend.
“He was obviously the worse for wear. He wanted to know where I was. Sharon told him I was doing a press conference and I’d be back soon.
“So Sean Bean started swearing at her and my five-year-old son. ‘It’s your f****** husband that got us relegated,’ he said, pointing at her. ‘He’s a f****** w*****’.
“That’s Sean Bean, the tough guy actor. Some kind of tough guy, eh, reducing a five-year-old kid and his mum to tears.
“I was livid to begin with. I wanted to go and find him but Paul told me not to waste my time.
“He might be a film star but he wasn’t a star in my eyes that afternoon.
“If that incident hadn’t happened maybe I’d still be Sheffield United manager today. But it made me realise what certain people at the club were saying about me behind my back.”
Bean, who has been heavily involved in football throughout his career, starred in When Saturday Comes – a film about a factory worker who eventually joins boyhood club Sheffield United – while he also appeared in a Sky Sports advert ahead of the 1997/98 season before narrating the official FIFA World Cup 1998 film.
But he denied the claims made in Warnock’s autobiography, before aiming several shots at the Cardiff boss – even calling him the unfortunate anagram some fans use towards the veteran manager.
Bean responded: “A lot of Blades fans refer to him by his anagram ‘Colin W*****’ – and when he comes out with rubbish like this it’s easy to see why.
“I’ve got three daughters of my own and there is no way I would ever dream of using language like that in front of a child, no matter how upset I was.
“Yes, I was looking for him after we were relegated – and I wasn’t the only one. We were all devastated. But I didn’t storm into Warnock’s office and confront his wife as he claims in his book. I was outside in the corridor when I told her what I thought of him.
“What I didn’t know was that his kid was behind the door and when someone pointed that out to me, I immediately apologised.
“The story Warnock tells is not the one I remember and I was there. But perhaps when you spend so much time rehearsing to get picked for the next series of Strictly Come Dancing it effects your memory.”
“Everyone has heard him effing and blinding on the touchline – and I find nothing wrong with that. Football is a passionate game. It excites us.
“But one minute Warnock is relating the story of how he told Sir Alex Ferguson to f*** off, the next he’s having a go at me for bad language. It’s hypocrisy. He did a TV documentary a couple of years ago and every other word was an expletive.”
Bean was also heavily critical of Warnock’s managerial ability, insisting he was merely trying to get himself another role.
“The whole season was about Warnock being in the Premiership, not United. It was all self-publicity. Yet it was clear to those of us on the board that he was out of his depth at that level and that’s why there was no chance of his contract being extended – even if we had stayed up.
“Kevin McCabe was clear about that. Warnock had taken us as far as he could and we needed another manager to move the club forward.
“Yet Warnock kept going on and on in the press about his contract. Even on the final day of the season, when all our efforts should have been concentrated on the Wigan game, he was in the papers talking about his future – not the club’s. That really annoyed me, and I can’t say what effect it might have had on the players.”
Bean was also heavily involved in the Blades’ battle to have their relegation overturned due to West Ham’s law breaking concerning the Tevez deal, and he believes Warnock may even have cost them reinstatement in the top flight.
He added: “I’ve been in contact with Kevin every other day during our Carlos Tevez campaign, and he has never so much as mentioned anything about my conduct.
“And while I’ve been trying to get United reinstated over the Tevez affair, it’s become clear to me that Warnock’s abrasive attitude has won us few friends among Premier League clubs.
“You can’t go around saying things about Rafa Benitez and telling Fergie to f*** off and then expect support from these people. He was no help at all.”
Source: SportsLatest TS