Andy Cole reveals he almost PUNCHED Man United team-mate Teddy Sheringham amid their bitter 20-year feud... and Roy Keane was forced to act as peacemaker!

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Andy Cole has revealed he once almost punched his Manchester United team-mate Teddy Sheringham as he lifts the lid on the pair's attritional long-running feud. 

The former Red Devil has been vocal in the past about his uneasy relationship with Sheringham, who joined Sir Alex Ferguson's side in 1997, claiming a then-historic Treble for the club alongside Cole two seasons later. 

Despite working well together as the sharp prongs of Man United's attack on the pitch, the pair were unable to get along off it - with Cole explaining that the tension between the pair first started several years before they were brought together at Old Trafford. 

Discussing his relationship with Sheringham on , brought to you by Sky Bet, the recently inducted Premier League Hall of Fame member detailed how a single small gesture of the former Tottenham player's had sparked years of animosity. 

'It all started when I made my England debut and for whatever reason he snubbed me and didn’t shake my hand on my debut,' Cole shared with podcast hosts Ian Wright, Jill Scott, and Wayne Rooney, as well as his Treble-winning team-mates Roy Keane and Gary Neville

Andy Cole (left) and Teddy Sheringham (right) failed to gel during their mutual playing careers

Andy Cole (left) and Teddy Sheringham (right) failed to gel during their mutual playing careers

Andy Cole (left) and Teddy Sheringham (right) failed to gel during their mutual playing careers

Despite winning a raft of trophies, Cole and Sheringham (pictured with David Beckham, right) never clicked off the pitch

Despite winning a raft of trophies, Cole and Sheringham (pictured with David Beckham, right) never clicked off the pitch

Cole shared on Tuesday that he and Sheringham had once even nearly come to blows

Cole shared on Tuesday that he and Sheringham had once even nearly come to blows

'I was disappointed. As far as I’m concerned, you’re a senior professional and I remember I’ve always watched England play when someone’s making their debut and whoever comes off makes a massive beeline to that individual to wish them all the best. 

'Naturally, I was cheesed off, but I got my head down.

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'When he joined Manchester United, I thought okay, I’ll get on with it. I remember the first day of pre-season, the boys couldn’t stop laughing at me because they knew the situation. 

'I’ve come in pre-season, we’re playing a game, and he tried to coach me into position, and I thought, I’ve been at Manchester United for a while now, I know what I’m doing. 

'That happened and I let him know that he shouldn’t try and coach me into position because I’ve been at Manchester United and been successful at this football club.'

But as tensions ramped up, the pay-off between the pair was explosive, with an infamous run-in in the tunnel after a testy draw against Bolton during the 1997-98 season that forced Keane to play the somewhat unfamiliar peacemaker role.  

'The final straw for me was in a game against Bolton, I remember drawing 1-1 at Old Trafford, they scored a late goal and he said to me that it was my fault,' Cole continued. 'I said to myself, okay, let’s just get to full-time. 

'Usually, I’m one of the last off the pitch but that day I was one of the first off the pitch. I ran down the tunnel and waited for him to come in. 

Success remained of paramount importance to the side, however, and disagreements were often quickly put aside (pictured in 2000)

Success remained of paramount importance to the side, however, and disagreements were often quickly put aside (pictured in 2000)

'We had a little bit of a set-to and I’ve just about copped my arm back and then peacemaker (Roy Keane) came in for thirty seconds and turned It on his head. He tried to break it up then got involved himself.' 

But even though tempers flared, the damage was far from irreparable. 

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'What’s really important about all of this stuff, the player arguments, hang-ups with Teddy (Sheringham), whatever it is, the key was that even with all of this arguing, it never interfered with our targets as a team,' Keane shared. 

'That was trying to win the following weekend and the next game.' 

In his 2010 biography, Cole had shared how he had 'loathed' Sheringham personally for 'years', despite playing alongside one-another under Ferguson until 2001. 

He even once went as far as stressing: 'I would rather sit down and have a cuppa with Neil Ruddock, who broke my leg in two places in 1996, than with Teddy Sheringham.' 

But in 2019, the 52-year-old told Mail Sport that the pair had finally buried the hatchet after over two decades. 

'I was out with my mates and he was with his wife Shirley. I saw him walking towards me and I thought to myself "hold up",' Sheringham said to Mail Sport. 

'He's got quite a deadpan face anyway. There wasn't a big smile. I thought: "Here goes. Maybe after all these years..." I had my guard up.

Roy Keane (pictured in 1999) waas roped in as peacemaker during a fracas in the tunnel

Roy Keane (pictured in 1999) waas roped in as peacemaker during a fracas in the tunnel 

Even at different clubs the pair continued to maintain frosty relations until both were retired

Even at different clubs the pair continued to maintain frosty relations until both were retired

'He came towards me and I could see Shirley looking at me thinking, "f***ing hell, what's going to happen?"

'He put his hand out and said, "let bygones be bygones and put everything behind us". I said, "wow, I didn't expect that. No problem". I shook his hand and that was that.'

Both Sheringham and Cole left two seasons after the club's unprecendented achievement, with the former moving back to his old club Tottenham, and the latter opting for a three-season stint at Blackburn Rovers. 

Cole retired seven years after leaving Manchester after adding spells at clubs including Manchester City, Nottingham Forest, Fulham, Sunderland, and Portsmouth to his CV.  

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