Sir Alex Ferguson, an eminent football manager, was born to Alexander and Elizabeth on December 31, 1941 in Glasgow, Scotland. He married Cathy and they have three sons; Mark and twins, Darren and Jason. Of his sons, only Darren has followed his father’s profession and is the manager of the Peterborough United FC.
He managed the Scotland national football team for a brief period in 1986 before he moved to the Aberdeen Football Club.
Between 1957 and 1974, Sir Alex Ferguson spent his playing career with the Queen’s Park FC (1957-60), St. Johnstone FC (1960-64), Dunfermline Athletic FC (1964-67), Rangers FC (1967-69), Falkirk FC (1969-73) and Ayr United FC (1973-74). Being a talented striker, he helped the Saints’ to win the Scottish First Division in 1962-63 and the Bairns to secure the Scottish First Division in 1969-70. By the end of the 1973-74 season, Sir Alex Ferguson completed his stint as a player scoring 167 goals in 327 appearances that he made for various clubs.
At the age of 32, Sir Alex Ferguson began his management career as a part-time job in June 1974 with the East Stirlingshire FC. It was only when he moved to the St.Mirren FC, that he started his full-time management career. With him as the coach, the Saints’ team won the Scottish First Division in 1976-77. During his stay at St.Mirren, Sir Alex Ferguson coached the team and spotted young talents like Billy Stark, Tony Fitzpatrick, Lex Richardson, Frank McGarvey, Bobby Reid and Peter Weir.
In June 1978, when he joined the Aberdeen Football Club (FC), he was younger than a few senior players of the team. Sir Alex Ferguson earned the respect and trust of his team players only after the Dons won 5-0 against the opponent team on the final day of the Scottish league that season (1979-80). Being a strict disciplinarian with brilliant managerial skills, he helped the Dons’ to become the runner-up of the Scottish League Cup in 2 seasons, 1978-80, and clinch the Scottish Premier Division title (1979-80). The outstanding team-building talent of Sir Alex Ferguson helped the Dons’ team to take the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) Cup Winners’ Cup in 1982-83 and secure the UEFA Super Cup in 1983-84. With his guidance, the Aberdeen FC bagged the Scottish Football Association (SFA) Cup for 3 consecutive seasons, 1981-84 and also during 1985-86. After his efficient training, the Dons’ performed well to fetch the Scottish Premier Division titles for 2 consecutive seasons, 1983-85 and the Scottish League Cup in 1985-86.
On November 6, 1986, Sir Alex Ferguson took up as the manager of Manchester United. After a few initial disappointments from players, he came back with a bang when his team won the League Cup during 1991-92 and the Premier League in 1992-93. His team-building tactics, by bringing-in talent from other teams to the Red Devils’ squad showed remarkable results. Sir Alex Ferguson worked with talented players like Dwight Yorke, Ryan Giggs, Teddy Sheringham, Paul Scholes and Ole Gunnar Solskjær and won the memorable the FA Cup Final against Newcastle United (2-0) in 1998-99. In that season, the Red Devils’ squad also bagged the UEFA Champions League and the Intercontinental Cup. Under the efficient coaching of Sir Alex Ferguson, Manchester United won the Premier League (10 times), the FA Cup (5 times), the League Cup twice, the FA Charity/Community Shield (8 times), the UEFA Champions League twice, UEFA Cup Winners' Cup and UEFA Super Cup once each.
In 1983, Sir Alex Ferguson was honoured in 1983 with an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE), for his service to football. He received the Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1995 and the Knight Bachelor in 1999. In recognition to his achievements with the Manchester United FC, Sir Alex Ferguson was inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame in 2002.
Being the most successful league manager, Sir Alex Ferguson became the Football Association (FA) Premier League Manager of the Year, 8 times (1993-94, 1995-97, 1998-2000, 2002-03, 2006-08). In 1996, he received the Football Writers’ Association (FWA) Tribute Award for his success with the Red Devils’ team. By winning the FA Premier League Manager of the Month, 21 times, Sir Alex Ferguson became the only manager in the history of English football to have accomplished such a feat. He received the League Managers Association (LMA) Manager of the Year in 1998-99, 2007-08 and the LMA Manager of the Decade for the 1990s. When the Red Devils’ walked away with the UEFA Champions League in 1998-99, the coach of the team, Sir Alex Ferguson was awarded the UEFA Champions League Manager of the Year for that season.
For his commendable contribution to the game of football, Sir Alex Ferguson received a number of awards in 1999, including, the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Coach Award, BBC Sports Personality of the Year Team Award, World Soccer Magazine Coach of the Year, Mussabini Medal, International Federation of Football History & Statistics (IFFHS) Club Coach of the Year and Onze d’Or Coach of the Year. Sir Alex Ferguson was conferred the Laureus World Sports Award for Team of the Year (2000) and BBC Sports Personality of the Year Lifetime Achievement Award in 2001.
The year 2007 was yet another successful year for the winning manager of the Manchester United FC, Sir Alex Ferguson, who went on to claim the World Soccer Magazine Coach of the Year, the Professional Footballers’ Association Merit Award and Onze D’Or Coach of the Year.
In 2008 Sir Alex Ferguson led Manchester United to his 10th Premier League championship and his second European title. The club from Manchester beat the club from London, Chelsea, in the UEFA Champions League final held in Moscow, to lift the most prestigious European trophy. It was speculated that Sir Ferguson will retire soon after this incredible success, but these rumors were soon put to rest when he vowed to stay on.
At the end of the 2008-09 United won the Premier League title for the third consecutive time, a feat that made Alex Ferguson the first manager in the history of the Premier League to win three titles in a row. The English football empire also added to its trophy case the 2009 Football League Cup. It won the Football League Cup again in 2010.
In 2011 Ferguson's team won the championship once again, against all odds and in convincing fashion. The 2011 championship was especially meaningful for the Scot manager and for the team's fans, as it allowed the club to move ahead of Liverpool on the all-time championship list, with 19 trophies, compared to the Reds' 18. For many,turning Manchester United into the most successful English football club in history, has cemented Alex Ferguson's place in history, as the most successful football manager of his era.