A great club is not just made by the players, but the manager too has an equally important role. Manchester United rode on the prolific managerial reign of Sir Alex Ferguson to become England’s greatest football club.
While he might also be the greatest football manager in the world, Fergie’s contributions were unique. FootTheBall some unique facts about the legend.
He is a big hit with Royalty
Although readers needed an introduction into his exploits with Aberdeen, the Royal Family at least were all too aware. The Dons captured the imagination of European football when they won the European Cup Winners’ Cup final in 1983, beating Real Madrid. And it is believed the Queen Mother sent a personal message to the boss after their memorable victory. At the height of his success at Pittodrie he is said to have dined with Queen Elizabeth II and her husband Prince Phillip.
The late Queen remained a huge fan of his achievements throughout his storied career and was present when he received his knighthood at Buckingham Palace in 1999. After winning the treble with United, Ferguson recalled a chat with Her Majesty: “The Queen told me she doesn’t think it will ever be achieved again and she’s right.
“The culmination of three trophies was the pinnacle of my career and it has been rewarded with a knighthood.”
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Sir Alex Ferguson’s gum
Perhaps the most amusing fact about Sir Alex Ferguson is his method of chewing gum. Whenever we saw him on the TV screen, he was stressed and chewing gum quickly, which could be a sign of his high level of stress and anxiety. Fergie and gum were unquestionably a match made in heaven.
Sir Alex Ferguson’s last piece of gum, which he chewed on his last day as manager, sold for 390000 pounds. Manchester United’s final match under Sir Alex Ferguson ended in a 5-5 draw against West Bromwich Albion.
Alex Ferguson & Arsène Wenger are the 1st managers inducted into the @premierleague HALL OF FAME🙌#Wenger #AlexFerguson #PLHallOfFame pic.twitter.com/D7d9hulLq3
— FootTheBall FC (@FootTheBallFC) March 29, 2023
Turned down the Scotland international job
Prior to his move south of the border, Ferguson was part of Jock Stein’s coaching team for the Scotland national team. However, following the tragic passing of Stein in the build-up to the 1986 World Cup in Mexico, it was left to Fergie to stand in for his great mentor.
In a summer which was dominated by Diego Maradona and the ‘Hand of God’, Ferguson’s introduction to the wider world was little more than a footnote. But there was plenty of controversy, including leaving Alan Hansen and Kenny Dalglish out of the travelling party.
Ferguson’s side picked up just one point from their three group games and were eliminated at the first stage. Their 0-0 draw against a cynical and streetwise Uruguay team was their final match, with a raging Fergie describing the match as a “shambles” and “not part of football.”
Despite their early elimination, Ferguson was offered the job on a full-time basis, but turned it down believing he was too young for international football. Had he felt differently, United would have been forced to look elsewhere for their new coach.
His son is the Manager of Doncaster Rovers
Fergie married Cathy Holding two years after their first date in 1966. He was a player for Dunfermline Athletic at the time of their marriage. They have three sons. Their first child, Mark, was born in 1968, followed by twin boys named Darren and Jason four years later.
Darren is the most well-known of Sir Alex Ferguson’s children. He is now Doncaster Rovers’ manager. Cathy is a strict disciplinarian who has always had an impact on her husband and children. She once persuaded Fergie not to abandon Manchester United.
Alex Ferguson Net worth
Alex Ferguson net Worth is around 60 million dollars in 2020. Although Fergie has not received any payments since his retirement at Manchester United, as The Guardian reported in 2015, he receives 144000 dollars per day as Manchester United Ambassador and their public figure that promotes the club.
Ferguson’s only source of income is the payment that he receives from his former club.
Former chairman of the Scottish Players’ Union
The iconic boss grew up in a socialist working-class family and credits his trade union background for helping him become a better leader at United.
A young Ferguson worked as a trade union shop steward aged 19, before taking on the role at the Scottish Players’ Union. Asked if he was destined to become a manager, he explained: “There was something in me. Maybe my trade union background helped give me the ability to make decisions and to be able to present myself.”
Sir Alex authored a Book
The world is aware of the manager’s autobiography, but Sir Alex had previously written a book before joining Manchester United. A Light in the North: Seven Years with Aberdeen, written by the Scot himself, was published in 1985.
It described his spell with the Scottish club and the memories he made there as a young man. Before coming to England, the Scot had managed Aberdeen for nearly nine years. He had a lot of talent to show off.
“Fergie Time” and Horse racing
He inspired the famous football phrase ‘Fergie Time’. It refers to Manchester United’s remarkable ability of scoring very late goals to either unlikely draw or win matches in injury time.
He is also a horse racing enthusiast. He co-owns three racehorses, Protektorat, Monmiral and Clan Des Obeaux.
100-fold increase in Manchester United’s value
When Sir Alex Ferguson took over Manchester United in 1986, the club was nearly sold for a mere $31 million. However, under his leadership, the club has seen an incredible transformation, with its current value now standing at an astonishing $3.2 billion – a staggering 100-fold increase in just over three decades.
Only missed three matches as United’s Boss
When it came to his time as manager of Manchester United, the former manager was far too professional. He never put anything else ahead of Manchester United in his life. Even today, the legend attends nearly all of United’s games. Sir Alex has only missed three games as United’s manager in his 26-year tenure.
He had to leave once for his son’s wedding, once for his brother’s wife’s funeral, and once to scout David de Gea in Spain. The third one certainly paid off for the club.
Knighted for footballing achievements
In 1999, Sir Alex Ferguson was knighted for his immense contributions to the world of football. His achievements were so great that he was even granted the Freedom of the City of Aberdeen, a rare honour that is bestowed upon individuals who have made a significant impact on the city. Sir Alex Ferguson’s legacy will live on for many years to come, and his influence on the game of football will never be forgotten.