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  • BeanymanSports

  • Born in Glasgow on New Years Eve 1941

  • Sir Alex Ferguson's first taste of European silverware came when he led Aberdeen to the 1983 Cup Winners Cup

  • Manchester United once a great side but in search of leadership and inspiration came knocking

  • But after three mediocre seasons his place at the helm lay in the balance

  • Until FA Cup goals from Mark Robins altered his career forever

  • Sir Alex Ferguson was reasonable for making Old Trafford a theatre and a fortress for over 20 years

  • Whilst their noisy neighbors worked there way through 21 managers United held on to just 1

  • Winning an unprecedented 38 pieces of silverware including 2 Champions League,

  • 5 FA Cup and 13 Premier League trophies

  • I'm here to try and uncover how Sir Alex got the best out of players renowned for being talented yet temperamental

  • All he wanted was attention Eric, you know he wanted attention

  • I also want to try and get a rare insight into the man behind the manager

  • He got off the seat and he sprinted out that door, through the dressing room, screaming for the kit manager

  • So by the time he got back I had it opened up poured a couple of glasses, ohh it was hilarious

  • And I want to discover which places and people help carve the most formidable character in the history of the game

  • She came through and she kicked me, she woke me up and them three were standing behind her

  • She said 'You're not retiring, you're to young to retire'

  • So get ready... It's Fergie time

  • This is your sort of second home here, are you honorary golf captain at Mottram Hall?

  • Yes I am, I've only played twice since I became captain

  • I'm just down the road

  • So has your gold handicap improved or not?

  • No, I had the hip operation about a year and a bit ago

  • And I've only played about 4 times, played here a couple of times with Bobby Charlton but that's it

  • And is retirement what you thought it would be? I mean I know you're still very busy

  • But were there things you were looking forward to that you just thought well that be, I'll do that in retirement

  • Definitely, everyone's got bucket lists of course but I looked forward to it

  • And also I made sure I was going to be active

  • The difference being was that maybe waking up during the night and putting the television on

  • Difference from what I use to do up at 6 o'clock into the training ground

  • Now I do that maybe get up at 8, have breakfast with Cathy, It's the first time she's ever had breakfast with me

  • So that's a big change but I set out to be active all the time

  • The fist thing we did, a cruise up to the Scottish Highlands

  • With my family and my mates, just all men

  • And we started off at Oban and it was the day that Andy Murray won the open

  • So we had the champagne all ready

  • Won Wimbledon yea

  • We weren't setting sail until he won that, as we set out and all the people on the Quay were all waving to us

  • And we had the champagne out, well done Andy and we had a great time, It was fantasic

  • And that was that something, you thought you could have gone anywhere in the world and actually it was

  • A lovely summer that summer wasn't it [We were dead lucky] So you were really lucky [Dead lucky yea]

  • But was that something you'd set yourself? I always, I want to do the Highlands? I want to do the Islands

  • I want to go home really

  • Yea exactly, well as a Scotsman I'd never been to places I've gone to you know on that cruise

  • I'd never been to Oban in my life, that's amazing, it's not even far from Glasgow

  • And you've mentioned Cathy already, hugely important to your success I would think

  • Absolutely

  • What is it that shes brought in a marriage that's nearly 50 years, I mean it's 48 years I think you've been married now?

  • 48 yea

  • How does she understand you and how much respect do you have for her in terms of listening to her if she says?

  • Shes a great judge, A great judge of people in particular, shes never been a football wife who goes to games

  • Shes never done that, she'd go to the cup finals and ???? use to say a waste of a ticket

  • Because she'd sit her and her sister talking and in the tearoom, hardly watched the game

  • But because it was the Cup final she would always go, and shes a good mother, a good wife

  • And a great grandmother, a fantastic grandmother

  • Well I should think you're a pretty good grandfather aren't you? because you've got time

  • Oh I love that now, I've always loved that, every week we've got some of them there you know

  • I've got 11 grandchildren now, ones 20, Jake and the youngest I've got 2 at 5

  • So they're great

  • And is it true that Cathy won't let you have any football memorabilia in the house?

  • No none, none at all

  • And what would happen if you came back with a book or something, football book?

  • Well we've got a library of football books don't get me wrong

  • But I've not got anything displayed about my career. It’s all in the United Museum, everything’s in there

  • And I think that’s the best place for it really to be honest with you, because it can be shared with every fan that goes in to the museum.

  • It's a fantastic museum, It's not a matter of me saying I miss it or anything like that

  • I don't even think about it, I think it's in the right place

  • But the most the sort of the most crucial influence she had and it didn't came out until a few years afterwords

  • But shes the one that talked you out of the first time you were going to retire

  • Absolutely, yea

  • And was that because she didn't want you around the house or you weren't, she thought you weren't ready yet?

  • She could sense I'd made a mistake and she knew I'd made a mistake

  • And I knew myself you know, the silly thing was it was impulse

  • It was a sort of a in the heat of the moment, I just decided

  • And I made it at the beginning of the season which is even worse

  • And I knew after a few weeks I said why did I do that you know

  • But then sometimes when you've got a stubbornness about you, you say well I've done it and then you carry it through

  • And then around about Christmas day or New Years day, I think it was New Year’s Day actually,

  • I was sleeping on the couch after dinner, with the boys and their families

  • She came through and she kicked me. She woke me up and them three were standing behind her

  • You know

  • She said, youre not retiring, youre too young to retire

  • And the boys said you're off your head to retire

  • With you as a child who were the influences on your personalty?

  • My parents were without doubt created the foundation for me in terms of they keep saying

  • Don't lie, don't cheat, don't steal, you know all these little things

  • Don't be late, that's my father oh honestly if your ever late he was in agony at me

  • But then you get to go to school and I had a fantastic teacher there, she was unbelievable, Mrs Thompson

  • She was a star

  • But she was very strict i mean there was a certain amount of corporal punishment wasn't there?

  • Ah but everyone got that in these days if you were you best behavior you got 6 of the belt that was the favourite

  • But enthusiasm and determination, I remember we played a game of rounders, we used to get a game of rounders

  • On a Friday afternoon maybe from 3 to 4 that was your sort of a sweetie

  • And it was my turn to bat

  • And there's first base there

  • And i'm looking at first base, i'll get to that first base

  • And I knocked the ball at the side,

  • She went absolutely lunatic

  • You Ferguson, if you ever do that again I will kill you!

  • Next time I was swinging at it as if it was the most important thing in the world

  • But she was fantastic and then when she died a few months later

  • A package come into my house and it was from my nephew and it was a belt

  • The belt that she'd hit you with?

  • Yea, yea everyone got it

  • You know it's fantastic and I've still got it in the house, it's fantastic

  • Despite the fact we've been talking about your retirement you have gone off on a completely different tangent

  • And you've got this role at Harvard University, Fellow to the executive education program

  • Now what does that involve and how do you prepare for it? because it's very, you know that sort of performance in front of a

  • Bunch of very very bright students that is quite nerve racking I should think?

  • The professor Anita Elberse she's Dutch, very clever woman

  • Great leader of her classroom, tremendous, came across with a young chap with her

  • And did a case study, watching you training at United, spoke to a few people at United

  • And they did interviews with me and then she did a case study for all the students and I'm sitting in the classroom

  • And there's all these young bright people

  • And the classroom was 2 classrooms say 65 each and one of the classroom was 45 nationalities

  • From all over the world and that was to me the most amazing thing and that tells you about Harvard it's such a brand

  • Of intelligence for people getting there and how there progress

  • I mean Bill Gates was there and Mark Zuckerberg

  • John F. Kennedy, I mean if you look at John F. Kennedy's staff, all his staff were former Harvard students

  • All of them and that's what they call The best and the brightest

  • And do they understand your accent?

  • I don't know

  • But I have to say this, I need to say this, speak slowly

  • Which I'm doing with you

  • I'm very grateful

  • And you have a board up and you've got certain key words

  • What do they find most interesting? What do they quiz you on?

  • They roll down boards and they keep putting up bullet points and all the rest of it

  • Part of it was a circle of what is important

  • Manager, CEO, owner, players, staff, then agents, supporters, press all these things

  • I scored out all of them apart from CEO, owner, players, staff and myself, those are the essentials to do that job properly

  • All the rest is always peripheral, The only way you can satisfy fans is by making them happy and winning on Saturday, that’s your job

  • The media, you can never satisfy media, but you have to do it.

  • And the agents, only time you hear from them is when they want money, a new contract or they want a player to move

  • As we well know that’s the job, So theyre peripheral to me in the job really

  • You've always been very curious, which is a great quality to have in terms of learning from other sports

  • I remember years and years ago we were at a yard in Lambourn and you were looking at the veterinary staff

  • And do you remember they were scoping that horse and you looked at the

  • And your trying the learn from what they were doing with race horses

  • Golf also you always loved and you obviously you went up to the Ryder Cup in Gleneagles

  • How impressed are you with the way Paul McGinley prepared that European side and the work he put in

  • To making sure pairings worked, that they brought out the best in each other?

  • Well that's what I tried to be to it

  • When Paul came to see me over a year ago, his detail, the plan he’d mapped out was fantastic, it was brilliant

  • And I was delighted and honoured that he asked me to participate in it. And we kept it quiet

  • We really did until maybe a few days before, but this had been going on for a year

  • And we made sure it was going to be right, It was going to be good

  • And I know how much you admire Andy Murray, I would think Rory McIlroy's quite high up you list aswell?

  • Oh yea

  • You see there are geniuses in life and Rory produces shots he shouldn't try. He’s got the ability to do it

  • And sometimes it doesn’t come off, but his imagination is such he can do these shots

  • And when they come off you say to yourself, How did he do that?

  • And hes got that in his locker, he's an exceptional exceptional player

  • He’s without doubt, I think, the most gifted golfer I’ve seen

  • And hes got the personality to you know

  • And he's a United fan so it helps

  • He's the all round package

  • He's an all round package correct