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Sir Alex Ferguson Before and with Manchester United

Updated on April 6, 2014
Tashaonthetown profile image

Natasha Pelati has published three books of poetry and writes on real-life experiences with the help of psychology.

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Alex Ferguson Rangers F.C
Alex Ferguson Rangers F.C

Sir Alex Ferguson - The Footballer

Born in December 1941 of Scottish decent, Sir Alex Chapman Ferguson became known as the most successful, admired and respected football managers in the history of the game.

Ferguson began his career as a soccer player for Queen's Park as a striker, aged 16. He could not command a regular place in the team and regularly requested transfers. He was signed up by Dunfermline in 1964 where he bacame a professional footballer.

He was dropped from the final due to poor performance in a league game and by 1966 he was the top goal scorer.

Ferguson joined the Ranger's and was blamed for a goal that was conceded in the 1969 Scottish Cup Final, which forced him to play for the club's junior side instead of the first team.

Alex Ferguson was promoted to player- coach for Falkirk after he turned down an offer to play for Nottingham Forest in England. ( His wife did not want to move there.)

When John Prentice became manager of the club, he removed Ferguson's coaching responsibilities which led to his request for transfer to AYR United where he finished his playing career in 1979.

Aberdeen - European Cup
Aberdeen - European Cup
Manchester United
Manchester United

The Manager

At the age of 32 Alex Ferguson was appointed the manager of East Sterlingshire part time and it paid 40pounds per week. He gained the reputation of being a disciplinarian and St Mirren offered him a management position where he stayed until 1978 after being fired from the team.

Ferguson made the team successful and he discovered plenty of talent. However it was said that he was fired due to petty arguments with the club secretary for trying to prevent players from paying certain taxes and giving unauthorised funds to them. Ferguson said that he was fired because of a breach of contract relating to an agreement to join Aberdeen.

Alex became the manager there in 1978 but did not get much respect from the players as he was the same age as most of them and they did not win the league but came fourth on Ferguson's watch. He blamed himslef for the loss and decided to make some changes which led Aberdeen to their victory over Rangers and Celtic's which had not lost the league in 15years.

That gained him the respect he needed and led Aberdeen to a European victory too.

In 1984 Ferguson was offered a management position at Tottenham, Arsenal and Rangers and was appointed an officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE).

In 1986 he was appointed to the club's board of director's but intended to leave.

He was part of the coaching staff for Scottish National side where they prepared for the World Cup in Australia. Scotland failed to progress and Alex stepped down as manager.

He remained the manager of Aberdeen until an offer to run Manchester United in England became available.

Ferguson was appointed manager of Manchester United at Old Trafford in 1986.

The team was 2nd from the bottom when he took over and he feared many of his players were drinking too much and their fitness levels were off. Being the disciplinarian that he is, he turned the team around with them finishing in 11th place.

Alex appointed Archie Knoxx his assistant coach from Aberdeen to become his assistant at Manchester United in 1986.

Alex Ferguson made many changes and signed on several major players which made a great contribution to the team, allowing them to finish in 2nd place but they were still no match for their rivals, Liverpool.

1989 Ferguson was in the newspapers for being an excuse of a coach as the team had not done well for three years and people demanded that he be fired but he was guaranteed his job by the board of directors as they appreciated his knowledge and understanding of the game and the fact that key players were away for injuries.

By 1990 Manchester United had improved majorly but were still inconsistent and Alex stated that United would win the league the following year.

Giggs, Rinaldo
Giggs, Rinaldo
Rooney, Keane, Beckham
Rooney, Keane, Beckham | Source

Manchester United

In 1991 Knoxx moved over to Rangers and left his assistant coach position. Ferguson promoted the youth team coach and signed on players like Lee Sharpe and Ryan Giggs who were young and energetic but United did not win the league and Ferguson said that it was dur to many of his own mistakes.

1992 found Ferguson a striker that brought the team up to the top of the ladder. French striker Eric Cantona was bought by Ferguson for 1.2 million pounds and they became the Premier League champions after United's 26year wait and by 1993 Alex Ferguson was voted manager of the year by the league Manager's association.

By 1995 Ferguson was criticised for allowing players to leave without replacements and Cantona was arrested for assaulting a spectator. Alex tried to sing on many professional players but they had already chosen to sign elsewhere.

Ferguson had a number of young players that he felt were ready to play in the first team. Players such as Gary and Phil Neville, David Beckham, Paul Scholes and Nicky Butt all came from "Fergie's Fledglings."

All the other teams had big names signed on for their teams but Ferguson chose to use his young players and they lost their first opening league game with criticism that the players were kids.

Cantona returned to the game and boosted the players to the top of the table by 1996.

1999 The league, FA Cup and Champions League was won by Manchester United, which coinsided with the club becoming the World's richest and most valuable sporting brand worldwide.

By 2002 Manchester United was well on its way thanks to Alex Ferguson who had many talented players in his team. He bought Rio Ferdinand, Christiano Rinaldo and Wayne Rooney( the worlds most expensive teenager)

At the beginning of the season Alex Ferguson was disrupted by the dispute with major shareholders of the club over a horse which ended up being fully owned by Amercian business tycoon, Malcolm Glazer.

2006 celebrated Ferguson's 20th anniversary of his appointment as manager and Christiano Rinaldo scored Manchester United's 2000th goal under Ferguson's coaching.

2012 Ferguson managed his 1000th league game and won his 100th game in the champion's league.

Sir Alex Ferguson - Statue at Old Trafford
Sir Alex Ferguson - Statue at Old Trafford

Ferguson's Retirement

On the 8th May 2013 Alex Ferguson announced his retirement at the end of the football season. He will still remain at the club as director and club ambassador.

12 May 2013 Manchester United won their match at Old Trafford for Ferguson's last day and won the premier league trophy.

Alex Ferguson suggested David Moyes for the position of manager of Manchester United and he starts at the beginning of the next season.

Wayne Rooney has asked for a transfer as he does not get on with Dave Moyes.

Alex Ferguson has won numerous awards and trophies and he has also been knighted by the Queen of England for his contribution to football.

This is the end of an era and Sir lex Ferguson will be remembered not only for his passion for his team but for introducing the world to many great players that have become successful.


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    • Tashaonthetown profile image

      Natasha Pelati 4 years ago from South Africa

      yes he was a hottie back then!

    • tazzmania89 profile image

      tazzmania89 4 years ago from Toronto, Ontario

      I came for the young Alex Ferguson picture, great find.