Manchester United won 3-1 against Feyenoord in Rotterdam, with Andy Cole scoring a hat-trick.
But late on, Paul Bosvelt produced a disgusting challenge on Irwin and left him in a heap on the turf.
The Dutchman, who later joined Manchester City, was late, high and could have quite easily broken Irwin's leg.
Somehow, the Netherlands international did not even receive a yellow card for his shocker of a tackle.
And Ferguson was absolutely seething on the touchline. The cameras panned to him and he could be heard shouting "it's a f****** disgrace" at Feyenoord boss Geert Meijer after already giving a bit to the fourth official.
Irwin had to be stretchered off and replaced by Phil Neville, while Bosvelt was substituted shortly after the horror tackle.
Brian Kidd, assistant manager of United, had to step in to diffuse the situation or else it could have got seriously ugly.
But Fergie still reportedly told Bosvelt what he thought of him, venting, "You scumbag, you ratbag, you dirty b******.”
The fiery Scot did lose his temper on occasion during games but this was quite possibly his biggest touchline meltdown.
Irwin, who was the only player Fergie would guarantee a place in his all-time XI, branded the tackle "unnecessary" and felt as though him not standing on his left leg saved him.
He did also accept a rather swift apology from Bosvelt.
In total, Ferguson was given 17 touchline bans in 26 years as Manchester United manager but one of his best rushes of blood came during his time as manager at St Mirren.
On a pre-season tour of the Caribbean, Fergie brought himself on as a substitute and got sent off for nailing a Guyana centre-back who had subjected young Robert Torrance to some rough treatment.
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