Monday, December 31, 2012


On this day, December 31st 1941, Sir Alex Ferguson, arguably, the best, greatest and most successful British football coach, was born at his grandmother's home on Shieldhall Road, Govan

His Father, Alexander Beaton Ferguson was a plater's helper in the shipbuilding industry and his mother was Elizabeth Hardie

Sir Alex Ferguson grew up in a tenement at 667 Govan Road (which has since been demolished) where he lived with his parents as well as his younger brother Martin.

He attended Broomloan Road Primary School and later Govan High School,and supported Rangers.

He began his football career at the age of 16 at Queens Park and he went on to have a relative successful career as a footballer in clubs such as St. Johnstone,Dunfermline Athletic, Rangers,Falkirk and Ayr United. He scored a total of 170 goals in 317 appearances for the clubs he played

Ferguson started his coaching career when he was appointed manager of East Stirlingshire, at the comparatively young age of 32. It was a part-time job that paid £40 per week and He gained a reputation as a disciplinarian, with club forward Bobby McCulley later saying he had "never been afraid of anyone before but Ferguson was a frightening ''bastard'' from the

Thereafter he was as manager of St. Mirren from 1974 until 1978, where produced a remarkable transformation of a team in the lower half of the old Second Division watched by crowds of just over 1,000, to First Division champions in 1977, discovering talent like Billy Stark, Tony Fitzpatrick, Lex Richardson, Frank McGarvey, Bobby Reid and Peter Weir while playing superb attacking football. It should also be said that St. Mirren have the distinction of being the only club ever to sack Ferguson

Ferguson joined Aberdeen as manager in June 1978, replacing Billy McNeill who had only managed the club for one season before he was offered the chance to manage Celtic

After a Shaky start when Aberdeen lost  Scottish Cup and the Scottish League Cup Final consecutively between 1978 and 1980,  their form improved dramatically in the new year and they won the Scottish league that season with a 5–0 win on the final day despite starting the season poorly.

 It was the first time in fifteen years that the league had not been won by either Rangers or Celtic. Ferguson now felt that he had the respect of his players.

He was still a strict disciplinarian, though, and his players nicknamed him Furious Fergie. He was dissatisfied with the atmosphere at Aberdeen matches, and deliberately created a 'siege mentality' by accusing the Scottish media of being biased towards the Glasgow clubs, in order to motivate the team

Ferguson later led Aberdeen to win the European cup winners cup with a 2-1 win over Spanish giant Real Madrid in 1983

At that point, clubs in England wanted to sign him, chief among them  Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur who had approached him about becoming their new manager, but he rejected the offers from both North London clubs

Months after leading Scotland to the Mexico 86 FIFA World cup, Alex Ferguson finally joined Manchester united on November 6, 1986.

And we can go on and on about his achievement, but check out the statistics. He has won 12 English Premier league titles, 5 FA cups, 4 League cups, 10 FA Charity/Community shield trophies, 1 UEFA Cup winners cup title, 2 UEFA Champions league titles, 1 UEFA Super cup,1 Intercontinental cup, 1 FIFA World club cup trophy..

One recurring theme of Ferguson's management of Manchester United has been his view that no player is bigger than the club. He has consistently taken a "my way or the highway" approach in his dealings with players and the pressure of this management tactic has often been the cause of many notable players' departures. 

Over the years players such as Gordon Strachan, Paul McGrath, Paul Ince, Jaap Stam, Dwight Yorke, David Beckham, Ruud van Nistelrooy and Gabriel Heinze have left the club after varying degrees of conflict with Ferguson. It is also suggested that one of the most inspirational players in the club's history, Roy Keane, was a victim of Ferguson's wrath following damning criticism of his teammates on the club's in-house television channel, MUTV. This disciplinary line that he takes with such highly paid, high-profile players has been cited as a reason for the ongoing success of Manchester United.

The phrase "squeaky-bum time" coined by Ferguson in reference to the tense final stages of a league competition has been included in the Collins English Dictionary and the Oxford English Dictionary.

In 1998, Ferguson was named in a list of the biggest private financial donors to the Labour Party. He is also a lifelong Labour voterand in January 2011 Graham Stringer, a Labour MP in Manchester and Manchester United supporter, called for Ferguson to be made a life peer. If this happens, it would make Ferguson the first current or former footballer or football manager to sit in the House of Lords.

A bronze statue designed by Scottish sculptor Philip Jackson, and named after Ferguson was unveiled outside Old Trafford on 23 November 2012.

Ferguson was made an Inaugural Inductee of the English Football Hall of Fame in 2002 in recognition of his impact on the English game as a manager. In 2003, Ferguson became an inaugural recipient of the FA Coaching Diploma, awarded to all coaches who had at least 10 years' experience of being a manager or head coach.

He is the Vice-President of the National Football Museum, based in Preston,[114] and a member of the Executive Committee of the League Managers Association.

In addition to being the only manager to win the top league honours, and the 'Double', North and South of the England–Scotland border (winning the Premier League with Manchester United, and the Scottish Premier Division with Aberdeen), he is also the last manager to win the Scottish championship with a non Old Firm team, achieving this in the 1984–85 season with Aberdeen. 

He is also the only manager in English football to have managed to finish in the top three league places in 20 consecutive seasons, since the 1991–92 season.

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

On 5 November 2011, the Old Trafford North Stand was officially renamed the Sir Alex Ferguson Stand in honour of his 25 years as manager of Manchester United.

He has won 48 trophies as a manager, making him the most successful British football manager in history.

Ferguson lives in Wilmslow, Cheshire, with his wife, Cathy Ferguson, Lady Ferguson (née Holding). 

They married in 1966 and have three sons: Mark (born 1968), and twins Darren (born 1972), current manager of Peterborough United and former manager of Preston North End, and Jason (born 1972), who runs an events management company.

Reference from Wikipedia

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