MICHAEL Owen has begun his Manchester United career by breaking his wrist in three places while attempting to sign his new contract.
According to the club, Owen passed the medical and then punched the air in delight, slightly spraining his shoulder.
A club spokesman said: "We hoped he would recover quickly after the medical and could at least take part in the first half of the contact signing, but the fountain pen was just too heavy.
"His agent was able to move his hand to form a legally binding signature but then, when Sir Alex congratulated him, he just fell to bits and had to be shovelled-up and carried out in a couple of wheelbarrows."
Owen, currently recuperating in the Louis Saha Memorial Injury Suite, will meet the rest of his team-mates over the next few weeks as they fall apart during pre-season training.
Former Man United player Stephen Malley, said: "The gaffer feels Michael can supply something different as none of the lads have experience of wearing ankle casts on the continent. And he can also teach some of the younger strikers his agonised thigh-clutching technique."
Charlie Reeves, a United fan from Surrey, said: "I remember that goal he scored for England when he was 12. Marvellous. His cheeky little face made him look like one of the sprites from The Magic Flute.
"And now he is playing for my favourite team unless I start supporting Liverpool or Chelsea, or that one with all the nice Jewish people."