Fergie gets his own statue after 26 years in charge of Manchester United
A statue of Sir Alex Ferguson was unveiled on Friday afternoon at Old Trafford. Thousands of fans gathered alongside current and former United players, despite the cold and rainy day in Manchester.
Eamonn Holmes started the ceremony by reminding the fans and players of the changes the country, and the football world, has experienced since Ferguson took over in 1986. “There have been five prime ministers, ten Liverpool managers, twelve England and, even better, nineteen Manchester City managers,” said Holmes. The last statement got the loudest cheer from the crowd and a broad smile from the man himself, Sir Alex Ferguson.
Ferguson is the longest-serving manager in the history of English league football. Before becoming the United boss, he managed four other teams including St. Mirren and Aberdeen. The Scotsman seemed humble during his speech, where he mentioned that he was “honoured” and “proud”. However, Ferguson didn’t hide his surprise by saying that “normally people die before they see their statue. I am outliving death”. The humorous comments by the 70 year-old were received with shared laughter.
Sir Alex also paid tribute to his wife, Cathy, by saying: “Somebody has to control me and she can.” However, he concluded his speech on a lighter mode, by adding, “she promised me to come every Saturday and bow before the statue”.
Some of the former players, like David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo, sent a video message to their former manager. Ronaldo started his speech by referring to Ferguson as “boss” and saying that he wished to be there and promised to come back to Manchester as he felt the need to improve his “English and Scottish”. Beckham thanked his former manager for everything he has done for him throughout his career and admitted to have had his “best years at Manchester United” whilst being under the watchful eye of Ferguson since he was 19.
Many former United players were present during the unveiling including Eric Cantona, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Edwin Van der Sar, Ruud Van Nistelrooy and many more.
Umida Ibrahimova, sports correspondent