The legendary Glaswegian – born Alexander Chapman Ferguson in 1941, now Sir Alex Ferguson – is the most successful manager in British football.
Sir Alex accumulated an incredible 49 trophies in his managerial career. The first was the Scottish First Division championship he won in 1977 at St Mirren – the second club he managed after a spell at East Stirling.
Ferguson – who had played for seven Scottish clubs including Rangers – went on to take charge of Aberdeen where he won 10 trophies in seven years. Aside from three SPL titles, he landed the European Cup Winners Cup with victory over Real Madrid in 1983.
Three years later, Sir Alex managed Scotland at the 1986 World Cup following the untimely death of Jock Stein and declined the job on a permanent basis. Instead, he was lured to Old Trafford.
After negotiating a difficult transition period, the 1990 FA Cup proved the gateway to glory and an unprecedented era of achievement.
The next breakthrough came when Manchester United lifted their first league title for 26 years in 1993. United won the league and cup double in 1994 and 1996 before achieving a remarkable treble – including the Champions League trophy – in 1999. Sir Alex was knighted for services to football following that astonishing season which culminated in stoppage time goals from Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to defeat Bayern Munich at the Nou Camp.
Ferguson’s team completed a hat-trick of league titles by topping the Premiership in 2000 and 2001. Briefly, he contemplated retirement but sustained both his hunger and the club’s success, claiming the double of the Premiership title and the Champions League – for the second time – in 2008.
A triumphant formula was underpinned by Sir Alex’s emphasis on developing young talent including Ryan Giggs, David Beckham, Paul Scholes and the Neville brothers, Gary and Phil. His many notable signings included Cristiano Ronaldo, Eric Cantona, Wayne Rooney and Rio Ferdinand.
He was England’s Manager of the Year on ten occasions, the LMA Manager of the Year three times as well as being named Manager of the Decade in 1999.
In 2009 Ferguson received a Special Merit Award from the LMA after a season which included the Community Shield, Carling Cup, Barclays Premier League, FIFA Club World Cup and Champions League Final appearance. The league title ensured three back-to-back Premier League titles.
In the 2009/10 season, Ferguson again enjoyed success in the Carling Cup, beating Aston Villa 2-1 at Wembley before narrowly missing out on a record of four league titles in a row as Chelsea were crowned Champions on the final day.
The following campaign (2010-11), Sir Alex was doubly honoured by the LMA. He won the Manager of the Year Award after again winning the title as well as reaching the UEFA Champions League final for the third time in four seasons. Sir Alex was also awarded the LMA Special Merit Award having surpassed 2000 games in management and become the Manchester United’s longest serving manager.
In 2011/12, Sir Alex surpassed another milestone as he celebrated 25 years in charge at Old Trafford.
Ferguson guided Manchester United to their 20th league title in 2012-13, their 13th under him and his 38th trophy in 26 years at Manchester United. He was awarded the LMA Manager of the Year for a record fourth time. After 40 years in management, taking charge of over 2150 matches, Sir Alex announced his retirement on May 8, 2013.
He subsequently became a Manchester United director and club ambassador. He was also appointed a Uefa Coaching Ambassador and took up a teaching role at Harvard University.
Ferguson is a member of the LMA management committee, having been a long-standing champion of his fellow managers.