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A drunk Manchester United fan dialled 999 last night asking to speak to the club's former manager, Alex Ferguson.

Once through to emergency services, the prank caller went on to complain to the operator about Manchester United’s performance, following their defeat to Sunderland in last night’s Capital One Cup game at Old Trafford.

Greater Manchester Police issued a statement on their Facebook page reminding football supporters that, although defeat could be "depressing", the 999 number is to be used for emergencies only.

Diane Grandidge, GMP’s business lead for call handling, said: “Silly calls like this one are thoughtless and can make a difference in a life and death situation. As a force we receive thousands of emergency and non-emergency calls, which is why I would urge those considering making such pranks to think twice.

“Our call handlers should be able to focus their efforts on real emergencies as they are happening. Hoax calls could delay an officer responding to a real emergency. You wouldn’t want your own emergency call being delayed by someone tying up a line with a hoax.”