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United Pay Tribute to Ferguson
Sir Alex celebrates 25 years as manager of Manchester United
Posted Nov 09, 2011 by Chris White
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In recognition of his 25 years in charge of Manchester United, officials at the club renamed the North Stand in honour of Sir Alex Ferguson, with it now known as the ‘Sir Alex Ferguson Stand’. The unveiling was made to the shock of the Scot before the 1-0 win against Sunderland, a day before the 25th anniversary of his appointment.
Ferguson was given a guard of honour by both sets of players and the match officials as he made his way onto the pitch to thank the supporters, where Chief Executive David Gill handed over a framed print of the stadium, as well as announcing the naming of the stand and that a statue of Sir Alex would be unveiled outside the newly renamed stand before the start of the 2012/13 season.
On 6th November 1986, Sir Alex was announced as the successor to Ron Atkinson, and faced a tricky task of turning the fortunes of the Old Trafford club, aiming to do what he had done at previous club Aberdeen, in winning trophies.
So certain of his own ability as a manager, Ferguson even promised to “knock Liverpool off their perch” and reach 19 English league titles, something they achieved last season.
When asked about his most memorable moment in the 25 years at Old Trafford, you could be forgiven for thinking it may be the Mark Robins goal against Nottingham Forest that allegedly saved his job, or even the first league title, but Ferguson said “I’ll never forget Barcelona in 1999 against Bayern Munich. Never,” as United sealed the Treble, of Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League.
He even overcame a number of potential hurdles en route to that feat, which started back in the 1995/96 season, when former-Liverpool defender turned TV pundit Alan Hansen famously said “You can’t win anything with kids,” when Ferguson brought in a series of talented youngsters, which included the likes of David Beckham, Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt and the Neville brothers, Gary and Phil. In true United and Ferguson fashion, United won the league that season.
Ferguson has also shown a unique talent at buying and selling players, bringing in the likes of Eric Cantona, goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel, then-unknown striker Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and young Portuguese winger Cristiano Ronaldo at the right moments, and letting the likes of Paul Ince, Mark Hughes, Andrei Kanchelskis, Roy Keane and Jaap Stam leave the club when he felt their time was up, to the bemusement of many, which soon changed to praise.
Ferguson has rebuilt his club on several occasions, and shows no signs of letting up. More youngsters are coming into his side this season, in Tom Cleverley and Danny Welbeck, and he still shows an insatiable appetite to win.
When he eventually calls it a day, it will be an emotional time for Ferguson and United fans, and football fans around the world, but one thing is for certain – don’t write him off going out at the very top.
Ferguson’s United record:
Goals Against: 1,262
Premier League titles: 12
Champions League: 2
FA Cup: 5
League Cup: 4
Charity/Community Shield: 10
Cup Winners’ Cup: 1
European Super Cup: 1
Intercontinental Cup: 1
Club World Cup: 1