There are ever fewer events in the phenomenon of modern Premier League football that still hold the potential to produce a moment that unites so many football fans. Alex Ferguson‘s 25th anniversary in the job has to be one such event.
There have been many words written in recent days and weeks to attempt to sum up a man whose actions, whose persona, and whose achievements are utterly incredible. To last 25 years at a club is itself a wonderful achievement, but for those years to be at the top of the English and world footballing agenda, competing in all corners of the globe is something else indeed.
…says goodbye to Carrington…
When Ferguson, inevitably, leaves his Old Trafford dugout for the last time and says goodbye to Carrington for once and for all, there can be no doubt that he will be remembered amongst the all time greats in the varied, sparkling and simply beautiful history of British football: Shankly, Busby, Clough et al. Managerial departure aside, I suspect he shall continue to work his way through the chewing gum while enjoying the view from the director’s box, very possibly having been moved upstairs.
Ferguson has always demanded little other than unswerving loyalty from the players who he treats like sons, each one equally important, each one the prodigal son for whom he would give everything. You only have to read the views of Keane, Beckham, Giggs and the rest to see the effect that this man has had on the lives: Ferguson made them into men.
…marked the anniversary celebrations.
Perhaps the very same loyalty, in some way, had some effect on the outcome of the otherwise fairly run of the mill Manchester United v Sunderland game that marked the anniversary celebrations. Having allowed John O’Shea and Wes Brown to join the ‘Mackems in the summer, the latter ensured a United victory with a goal that guaranteed the day went as fate had planned.
Despite the influx of money and mercenaries into domestic football, the beautiful game still has the great potential to bring joy and celebration to the lives of all involved. Sir Alex Ferguson has been the bringer of many of these days of wonder, of awe and of sheer pleasure. For this, we must all be greatly thankful.
Images courtesy of Sir Alex Ferguson