LONDON, June 12 1999 - Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson Knighted by the British government.
"I am delighted and honoured. I see this as an honour not just for me but for the people who have supported me through my life and made me what I am" said Ferguson.
[ Joined from
[ Manager ]
[ Dob 31/12/41 ]
[ signed 1986 ]
[ Games 658 upd 1/2/99 ]
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[Debut: 8/11/86 Oxford(a)]
[Top Score 9-0 Ipswich (h) 4/3/95]
[Born in Govan, Glasgow]
[1999 European Champions Wallpaper!]
|FA Carling Premiership||FA Cup||League Cup||
|FA Carling Premiership||FA Cup||League Cup||European Cup||Total|
Alexander Chapman Ferguson- born on December 31st 1942. After spells as a player with Queen's Park, St Johnstone, Dunfermline, Glasgow Rangers, Falkirk and Ayr United, and as manager of East Stirlingshire, St Mirren and Aberdeen, Alex Ferguson succeeded Ron Atkinson as manager of Manchester United on 6th November 1986. In the 13 League matches up to Ferguson's arrival at Old Trafford, United had only won three and had lost six. They had also been knocked out of the Littlewoods Cup after suffering a 1-4 defeat at Southampton. Looking back it is easy to see why United's position was so dire: "Ferguson inherited a dispirited team of underachievers who had consistently, to their supporters' foaming discontent, failed to break Liverpool's domination. The team sheet drawn up by the new man for his first match says it all: Turner, Duxbury, Albiston, McGrath (Olsen), Moran, Hogg, Blackmore, Stapleton, Moses, Davenport, Barnes. The team lost 0-2 to Oxford United." (Jim White quoted in Total Sport, May 1997). Stuck in the bottom four of the Division One table, Ferguson immediately set about attempting to stave off the very real threat of relegation. Without resorting to the transfer market, Ferguson guided United up the table to finish in 11th place. By now it was apparent to Fergie that it was a major job to turn the club around. United were an entertaining side but one that seemed unable to cope with the more physical aspects of League football. Crucially for the future, there seemed to be few players coming through the youth system to challenge the established stars. In his first full season, Ferguson guided United to a League runners-up position as new signings Viv Anderson, Steve Bruce and Brian McClair made their mark. This was followed by 11th position in 1988/89 and, after a further threat of relegation, 13th position in 1989-90. The fans were not convinced by Alex Ferguson and on his third anniversary as manager of Manchester United a banner was unfurled in the scoreboard end saying: "Three years of excuses; Ta-ra Fergie". Ferguson remembers the period as 'Black December': "It was, without question, the lowest, most desperate point ever in all my years in management." (Alex Ferguson, Just Champion). United's poor League form continued, but at least the fans were able to cheer a Cup run. On May 17 1990, for the first time in five years, the fans tasted success when United won the FA Cup, defeating Crystal Palace 1-0 after a replay. United have since gone from strength to strength. In 1991 Ferguson's team were League Cup finalists, but went on to defeat Barcelona 2-1 in the European Cup-Winners' Cup Final. However it was in the League that the Old Trafford faithful were demanding success. United again came close in 1991/92 when Leeds United pipped them to the title after United had looked the better team for most of the season. Some silverware did return to Old Trafford that season as Nottingham Forest were defeated 1-0 in the League Cup Final and Red Star Belgrade were defeated by the same scoreline in the European Super Cup Final. Finally United's time had come, despite a strong challenge from Aston Villa, Ferguson's team became the inaugural Champions of the breakaway F.A. Premier League in 1992-93. The twenty-six year wait was over. "The Championship triumph, apart from ending 26 years of collective cursing and frustration, was unquestionably the breaching of a barrier that had defied so many talented people, world renowned players as well as Managers". (Alex Ferguson, Just Champion). This Championship victory also won him the 'Manager of the Year' trophy, an award he won again the following year as United retained their hold on the Premier crown. His team went one better becoming only the sixth team to win the League and FA Cup Double. It was close to being an unprecedented treble but Ron Atkinson's Aston Villa side won a hard-fought League Cup Final 3-1. His 1993 Premier League victory meant that Ferguson became the first Manager to win League titles north and south of the border. He is also only the second Manager,after Johan Cruyff, to win the European Cup-Winners' Cup with teams from different countries. At the start of 1995 things were looking rosy for Ferguson. He'd just been awarded the C.B.E. in the New Year honours list, United had landed Andy Cole for £7m from Newcastle United and had just beaten their title rivals Blackburn Rovers 1-0 in a great battle at Old Trafford. A third Premier League title looked destined for the trophy room at Old Trafford. However on January 25, United's season took a cruel twist when Eric Cantona attacked an abusive Crystal Palace fan after being sent off. Failure to win at West Ham on the last day of the season and losing to Everton in the FA Cup Final meant that the trophy cabinet at Old Trafford was empty for the first time in five years. Ferguson still muses that at least one trophy would have found it's way to Old Trafford had Cantona not been banned for nine months by the FA. When the 1995/6 season began it did so minus Eric Cantona, Mark Hughes, Andrei Kanchelskis and Paul Ince, players who had played such an important part in United's success. By the end of the season, memories of 1995 had been washed away as United's 'kids', led by a rejuvenated Cantona, won an historic 'Double Double'. No less that five players were under the age of 21 and had graduated from United's youth system. A testimony to Alex Ferguson's managerial ability, which won him the Carling Premiership 'Manager of the Year' award yet again. The following season expectations were high. Ferguson had made some shrewd buys during the summer including Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ronny Johnsen. In November 1996, the Boss completed ten years as manager of Manchester United, the longest serving coach since Sir Matt Busby and the second longest serving boss in the League behind Crewe's Dario Gradi. The season ended with United picking up their fourth Premiership title and narrowly missing out on reaching the European Cup Final, losing the semi-final to the eventual winners Borussia Dortmund. Again Ferguson won the Carling Premiership 'Manager of the Year' award, confirming his place amongst the great Managers to have graced the British football scene. That status was confirmed in the 1998/99 season, when United completed the unprecedented Treble – Premiership, FA Cup and European Cup. He followed Matt Busby to Buckingham Palace, and became the first working football manager to be knighted. •Sir Alex Ferguson was voted the 'Best Coach' in Europe at the 1999 UEFA Football Gala. •Alex is a keen musician, and is learning to play the piano in his spare time. •As a boy he would climb over walls to watch his beloved Glasgow Rangers, for whom he would later play. •He shares his birthday, on New Year's Eve, with former club captain Steve Bruce. •He owns several racehorses, and regularly watches them in action.
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