For other people named Alex Ferguson, see Alex Ferguson (disambiguation).
Sir Alexander Chapman “Alex” Ferguson, CBE (born 31 December 1941) is a Scottish football manager and former playerwho has managed Manchester United since 1986. His time at the club has led to Ferguson being regarded as one of the most admired and respected managers in the history of the game.
Ferguson managed East Stirlingshire and St. Mirren before a highly successful period as manager of Aberdeen. After briefly managing Scotland following the death of Jock Stein, he was appointed manager of Manchester United in November 1986.
Ferguson is the longest serving manager of Manchester United, overtaking Sir Matt Busby‘s record on 19 December 2010, and the longest serving of all current League managers. He has won many awards and holds many records including winningManager of the Year most times in British football history. In 2008, he became the third British manager to win the European Cup on more than one occasion. He was knighted in 1999 for his services to the game and also holds the Freedom of the City of Aberdeen.
On 8 May 2013, Ferguson announced his retirement as manager of Manchester United. During his 26 years at the club, he won 38 trophies, including 13 Premier League and two UEFA Champions League titles.
One recurring theme of Ferguson’s management of Manchester United has been his view that no player is bigger than the club. He has consistently taken a “my way or the highway” approach in his dealings with players and the pressure of this management tactic has often been the cause of many notable players’ departures. Over the years players such as Gordon Strachan, Paul McGrath, Paul Ince,Jaap Stam, Dwight Yorke, David Beckham, Ruud van Nistelrooy and Gabriel Heinze have left the club after varying degrees of conflict with Ferguson. It is also suggested that one of the most inspirational players in the club’s history, Roy Keane, was a victim of Ferguson’s wrath following damning criticism of his teammates on the club’s in-house television channel, MUTV.
Many of Ferguson’s former players have gone on to become football managers themselves, including Bryan Robson, Steve Bruce, Mark Hughes, Roy Keane, Paul Ince, Chris Casper, Darren Ferguson, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Henning Berg.
Ferguson lives in Wilmslow, Cheshire, with his wife, Cathy Ferguson (née Holding). They married in 1966 and have three sons: Mark (born 1968); and twins Darren (born 1972), current manager of Peterborough United and former manager of Preston North End; and Jason, who runs an events management company.
In 1998, Ferguson was named in a list of the biggest private financial donors to the Labour Party. He is a self-described socialistand a lifelong Labour voter. In January 2011 Graham Stringer, a Labour MP in Manchester and Manchester United supporter, called for Ferguson to be made a life peer. If this happened, it would make Ferguson the first current or former footballer or football manager to sit in the House of Lords. Stringer and fellow Manchester Labour MP Paul Goggins repeated this call after Ferguson announced his retirement in May 2013.
In 2009 Ferguson received a Honorary Doctorate in Business Administration from the Manchester Metropolitan University. It was the second degree he received from the university, after receiving a honorary masters in 1998.