How Brian McClair left future Manchester City Director Txiki Bergiristain ‘disgusted’ after the 1991 Cup Winners’ Cup final

Brian McClair 1991 European Cup Winners' Cup
(Image credit: Getty Images)

When Manchester United beat Barcelona 2-1 in the European Cup Winners' Cup final in 1991 at the Stadion Feijenoord in Rotterdam, Mark Hughes had scored both goals for the English side to hand them their first European trophy in 23 years. 

Brian McClair and Mike Phelan both played the full 90 minutes for Sir Alex Ferguson's side, but were subsequently called in by UEFA to complete a random drug test, meaning they couldn't celebrate the victory immediately afterwards like their teammates. 

Former Barcelona midfielder and current Manchester City Director Txiki Begiristain was also called in after the game, dejected after losing the final. 

Speaking exclusively to FourFourTwo, McClair describes the scene in the drug testing room, made awkward by his linguistic skills and improved by the copious amounts of alcoholic drinks provided. 

“There were several drinks on the table, including beer,” McClair tells FFT. “Txiki Begiristain and another Barcelona player were there, too. 

"They were downcast but had to sit in the same room as Mick [Phelan] and me, so I decided to knock some chat out of them with my O-Level Spanish. I’ve no idea what they were thinking as I asked them if they were Madrid or Catalonia, but my intentions were friendly. 

"I think they were disgusted and wanted to go. I was genuinely trying to be nice, though.” 

McClair provided his test. Phelan could not. 

“I left the room with Mick still trying to pee,” continues McClair. “That wasn’t a particularly socialist thing to do as his team-mate, but I thought, ‘F**k this’ – I wanted to get to the after-party in [nearby] Amsterdam. 

"That party is still the best I’ve ever attended, and I was fortunate to be involved in a number of them. We had the whole hotel to ourselves. Mick eventually turned up an hour later with his tracksuit on – he’d drunk the rest of the beer in the drug room.”

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Ryan Dabbs
Staff writer

Ryan is a staff writer for FourFourTwo, joining the team full-time in October 2022. He first joined Future in December 2020, working across FourFourTwo, Golf Monthly, Rugby World and Advnture's websites, before eventually earning himself a position with FourFourTwo permanently. After graduating from Cardiff University with a degree in Journalism and Communications, Ryan earned a NCTJ qualification to further develop as a writer while a Trainee News Writer at Future.