In what is a watershed moment for one of the biggest clubs in the world of football, Manchester United appointed Sir Alex Ferguson as their manager on 6th November 1986. He replaced Ron Atkinson who was sacked by the club for poor performances. Manchester United fans would perhaps point towards 6 November 1986 being arguably the greatest day in the history of their football club.
Before joining United, Ferguson was a striker in his playing career and Scotland and then had managed East Stirlingshire, St. Mirren and then at Aberdeen. At Aberdeen, Ferguson had great success, managing to win three league titles, four Scottish Cups and one Scottish League Cup. He was in charge of the Scottish giants from 1978-1986.
At Manchester United, Sir Alex had a very inconsistent start. In his first season in charge, the club finished in 11th position. The second season saw a turnaround and United finished in the second spot. The third season was again disastrous with United finishing in the 11th spot again. In his fourth season in charge, Ferguson reportedly was on the verge of getting sacked as the club were in 15th place on New Year. But they decided to stick with him and he led them to the FA Cup win that season, which probably saved his job.
From then on, Ferguson wrote the most glorious phase in the history of the club. Ferguson would win 13 League titles with Manchester United. This helped Manchester United in Alex Ferguson’s own words to knock Liverpool off their perch of English football. He would also win 5 FA Cups, 4 League Cups and 2 UEFA Champions League titles, making him by far the most successful manager in not only Manchester United and English football’s history.
Apart from the trophies, his legacy remains of how he built the club and the superstars he created at United. Under him, United went from a struggling team in the mid-table of English football to becoming if not the biggest club, the biggest sporting brand in the world. Superstars such as Ryan Giggs, David Beckham, Paul Scholes, Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney, Eric Cantona and many others emerged under his tutelage.
For his services to British football, Alex Ferguson was knighted in 1999 by Queen Elizabeth. He finally retired as the manager of Manchester United and from the game in 2013. He now serves as the club director and ambassador at Manchester United along with holding a teaching position at the prestigious Harvard University.