I came across this photo yesterday of a much younger Alex Ferguson in his playing days. If it hadn’t been for the caption I don’t think I would have recognised him when his is one of the most recognisable faces in Britain.
The reason it appeared online of course was that it was the day he called for the curtain to come down after over fifty years in football, the last twenty-six as manager of my beloved Manchester United.
It was strange listening to the many tributes on radio and tv, almost as if someone had passed away, rather than simply retired, and the commentators had to keep correcting their use of the past tense.
I’ve been a Manchester United fan since I was a kid and the first match I remember was the 1963 Cup Final against Leicester City which we won 3-1 and it is scary to think that Fergie has been the team manager for more than half the years since.
I must admit that I was one of those who used to sit in the pub and grumble about his immediate lack of success, saying he should be sacked. Just shows how much I know and fortunately the owners at the time didn’t listen what we fans had to say and we’ve enjoyed an unprecedented haul of trophies as a result.
In fact, I can say that Fergie has been responsible for most of my moments of euphoria for almost half my life, birth of children etc excepted of course.
The thing is though, his decision to retire has rocked my world. For the first time in a very long time I’m facing uncertainty as a sports fan and it isn’t pleasant. Is David Moyes the right man to replace Fergie? Will we continue to be successful or sink into the mire? A mist has fallen to block my view of the horizon.
All I can do is give my thanks and farewell to Fergie as it says in the title of this post. And if you’re impressed by my grasp of the Scottish patois, please don’t be – that translation came courtesy of this Scottie Translator.
I also wanted to find something on video as a small tribute to our miracle manager and there can be no better than this one celebrating fabulous Fergie Time starting with those magical three minutes at the end of the 1999 Champions League Final.