Well shit, I don’t know where to begin. I feel like I’ve lost a father. Sir Alex Ferguson is all I’ve known as a Manchester United fan and a footy fan. He is Manchester United. He is British football. But after 27 years at the head of Man United and 39 years as a manager in Britain, Sir Alex is hanging up the famed black pea coat.
This day was inevitable, obviously, but I honestly did not think it would be coming this year. The past few days have produced a number of stories about how Sir Alex will “carry on for another decade” and although you can’t believe everything you read, I still thought he had at least a few more years in him. Can’t say I’m mad at him for making the decision, not doubt he has the best thoughts for the club in mind. It’s just a sad, sad day for any Man United fan across the world. Truly the end of the greatest managerial era we have seen or probably will ever see again.
Manchester United have dominated English football during his reign, particularly during the time of the English Premier league winning 13 of those titles as well as 2 Champions League titles.
In addition to those trophies, he won the FA Cup 5 times, the League Cup 4 times, plus the FIFA Club World Cup, Intercontinental Cup, the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup and the UEFA Super Cup.
Sir Alex started his career in 1974 taking over Scottish first division side St. Mirren. He took them to a title just three years later in the 76-77 season. He joined Aberdeen a year later and put his imprint on European football by taking a mid-table Scottish club to new heights winning 3 league titles, 4 Scottish Cups and a League Cup in eight seasons at the helm. His biggest achievement during his time in his home country was taking down the mighty Real Madrid in the European Cup Winner’s Cup in 1983.
Ferguson would make his move to Manchester United in 1986, taking over a mediocre squad which hadn’t seen much success since the days of Busby’s Boys in the 60’s. His first few seasons in charge were nothing special, but the club showed patience in the proven manager and were rewarded with their first major trophy in 1990 with an FA Cup win.
Two years later, with the emergence of the “Premier League” and arguably Ferguson’s first big signing Eric Cantona, saw the beginning of the tear that Sir Alex would go on for the next 20+ years. Manchester United won the league title that year and the rest, as they say, was history. With “Fergie’s Fledgling’s” – the class of David Beckham, the brother’s Neville, Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt, and Ryan Giggs – firmly in place, Manchester United would go on to be far and away the greatest team in the Premier League era.
Ferguson’s career high would come in the 1998 – 99 season when the club went on to win the treble, winning the Premier League title, the FA Cup and famously beating Bayern Munich in the dying seconds of the Champions League final (thank you, Ole). Alex Ferguson would go on to be knighted that year for his contributions to British football.
I could go on for days here about Sir Alex, but clearly his accomplishments speak loudest. It’s a sad day not just for Manchester United fans, but for football fans across the world. I know Matt is dancing like a lady boy right now, but even Manchester United’s biggest haters have to recognize the contributions Sir Alex has had to world football. He will truly be missed on the sidelines.
Sir Alex will continue to contribute to Manchester United acting as a director and club ambassador, but not seeing him on the pitch barking in the 4th referee’s face to get a few more minutes of Fergie Time will sorely be missed. His last game will be May 19th against West Brom, his 1500th as manager of Manchester United.
A few words on the man from some of the greats…
I will now go crawl in a hole and weep for the next week or two. Thank you for your time.