Tuesday, November 06, 2012


On this day 6th of November 1986, Manchester United coach, Sir Alex Ferguson, arguably the greatest British football manager of all time, walked through the doors at Old Trafford 26 years ago today.

The job of managing United in 1986 was huge - they were a sleeping giant and his tenure began with a humiliating defeat at Oxford's Manor Ground. From humble beginnings and all that...

Ferguson had to wait three games for his first success as United boss.
November 22, 1986, United beat Queens Park Rangers 1-0 at Old Trafford, thanks to a thumping free-kick from Danish defender John Sivebaek.

Manchester United had gone 213 scoreless minutes and 16 days before Sivebaek finally broke the deadlock at Old Trafford to secure that first win.

But it was a fleeting moment of glory for the Denmark international who was sold to St Etienne by Ferguson the following summer after just 31 games for United.

He was eventually replaced at right-back by Viv Anderson who was the first signing of Alex Ferguson era in old trafford

And it was the electric Wright who put Palace ahead two minutes after the re-start, seizing on Jim Leighton’s hesitancy dealing with a John Salako cross, before Mark Hughes calmly slotted home seven minutes from the end of extra-time to take the final to a replay.

Ferguson bravely, and controversially, dropped Leighton for the replay five days later and the Scotland international keeper never played for United again.
His place went to the late Les Sealey who made three crucial saves in a largely uneventful match.

The winner came from defender Lee Martin who chested down a Neil Webb pass just before the hour and shot high into the net past Nigel Martyn. Captain Bryan Robson lifted his manager’s first trophy.

Sealey was the only change from the first game, the outfield players were Phelan, Bruce, Pallister, Martin, Webb, Ince, Robson, Wallace, McClair, 

Ferguson previously managed East Stirlingshire and St. Mirren, before a highly successful period as manager of Aberdeen. After a brief stint as manager of the Scotland national team following the death of Jock Stein, he was appointed manager of Manchester United in November 1986.

With 25 years as manager of Manchester United, he is the longest serving manager in their history after overtaking Sir Matt Busby's record on 19 December 2010. 

His tenure is also the longest of all the current League managers. During this time, Ferguson has won many awards and holds many records including winning Manager of the Year most times in British football history. 

In 2008, he became the third British manager to win the European Cup on more than one occasion, after Brian Clough and Bob Paisley.

He was knighted in 1999 for his services to the game and also holds the Freedom of the City of Aberdeen.

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