Retired Manchester United manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, has had a road adjacent to the club’s Old Trafford renamed-Sir Alex Ferguson Way-after the Scot, in honour of the Premier League champions’ long-serving manager who retired in May after 27 years in charge.
The 71-year-old former St Mirren and Aberdeen manager, who now serves as director at the Manchester club, was also given a Honourary Freedom of the Borough of Trafford at a formal ceremony on Monday.
“It’s a privilege and an honour to have a road named after me,” he said. “You don’t expect these things in life.”
Throughout Ferguson’s 26-year stay at Old Trafford, his impeccable record saw him win 38 trophies, including 13 league titles, 2 Champions League trophies, 5 FA Cups and 4 League Cups. Named Premier League Manager of the Season ten times, Uefa Manager of the Year and the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Coach, ones each, amongst many other personal accolades.
“It encapsulates probably the last 26 years- coming to the great club, the history of it. It’s been an incredible journey for me, ending today for me to unveil this road sign,” added Ferguson.
“I’m really proud of that and I’m proud of everyone who has been associated with the club. I’d like to thank Manchester United for inviting me down here, 26 years ago. It was a fantastic elevation in my life and a challenge I accepted. And we are where we are now.”
He retired after guiding United to the 2012/13 league title, giving up the reins to fellow Scot David Moyes, who has been greeted with a difficult start to the ongoing 2013/14 campaign, just like his predecessor.
“It’s a great, great football club. You, the supporters, have enjoyed it. And I still think that a lot of our young fans don’t remember that there were bad days. Dealing with bad days is what we’re good at. This club will always go on,” Ferguson reassured fans.
Ferguson, who is arguably the most successful British manager in history, succeeded Ron Atkinson at the Manchester club in November 1986.
His first game in charge was a 2-0 defeat at lower league team Oxford United followed by a goalless draw. It took the manager more than two seasons to win his first silverware, which came in the 1989/90 FA Cup final 1-0 replay win over Crystal Palace.
It took him five seasons to win his first league title; a period spent signing arguably some of the best players at the time like Garry Pallister, Steve Bruce, Peter Schmeichel and Lee Sharpe.
“We’ve got a fantastic set-up, great staff, wonderful people and there’s only one way and that’s up for Manchester United,” he added.
As part of the club’s appreciation of his undivided commitment to her success, the part of Old Trafford facing the Southend Stand was named after him, followed by the unveiling of a Philip Jackson’s statue of himself in November 2012.
Times shall pass but Ferguson will always be a regular fixture at Old Traffor.