LifeBogger presents the Full Story of a Football Manager and Manchester United demigod who is best known by the Nickname; ‘Fergie’.
Our version of Alex Ferguson’s Biography Facts, including his Childhood Story, brings to you a full account of notable events from his boyhood days right till he became famous.
The analysis of the Legendary Manager involves his life story before fame, family life and many OFF and ON-Pitch little-known facts about him. Now, without further ado, let’s begin.
Alex Ferguson Childhood Story – Early Life:
For Biography starters, Sir Alexander Chapman Ferguson was born in Glasgow, Scotland, on the 31st of December 1941, to Alexander Beaton Ferguson (father) and Elizabeth Hardie Ferguson (mother).
Alex was born in his grandmother’s home on Shieldhall Road in Govan but grew up in a tenement at 667 Govan Road (which has since been demolished).
As a child, he lived with his parents as well as his younger brother Martin. His town, Govan, is a working-class neighbourhood in Glasgow, Scotland.
Everyone who resides in the town, including Ferguson’s Dad, had a high chance of being in the shipbuilding business. In essence, he lived in a shipbuilding community as a kid.
Growing up, Alex attended Broomloan Road Primary School and later Govan High School and supported Rangers football club.
However, there was something different about him, unlike other kids his age. He was an intelligent boy but had little interest in studies and was more inclined towards playing football.
He preferred kicking a soccer ball with his younger brother, Martin, and friends through the alleyways between tenement homes, and with some help from his dad, he developed into a promising young talent.
Alex Ferguson Family Life:
Starting off, Fergie came from a poor family. He had a poor but happy family who lived in the Govan shipyard area of Glasgow.
His dad had never scaled any serious heights earlier in the shipbuilding sector. He settled for amateur football for survival, which gave him very little wages.
However, it was six years into Alex Ferguson’s birth that Alexander Beaton Ferguson retired from amateur football player thanks to an opportunity that came at the Glasgow shipbuilding business.
He turned into a plater helper. This time he was confident and could now feed young Alex (below), his brother and his mother.
Unfortunately for Alex Ferguson, both of his parents died from a similar disease (lung cancer) before the age of 67, which was below the British life expectancy age. However, they were both heavy smokers.
Alex Ferguson’s Parents’ Death and his Soberness:
Did you know?… Alex Ferguson’s father died of lung cancer at the age of 66 in the year 1979. Ferguson’s mother, Elizabeth, also died of lung cancer at the age of 64 in the year 1986.
Her death happened when he was just three weeks after his appointment as Manchester United Manager. Her untimely death left the new manager sober and in huge pain for months.
It was the cause of the difficult start to his Manchester United managerial career. That was a reason why he almost got sacked. It was a long period of grief and a “devastating impact” to losing both parents to the same disease (lung cancer).
Fergie fought and spearheaded a Scottish government ‘Detect Cancer Early’ campaign, which received the sum of £ 30 million.
Alex Ferguson agreed to front the campaign because of his own heartbreak and to get the message out that early detection can give people “extra time” to spend with their families.
In his words;
“I remember being told my parents had lung cancer. Again, I also recall the day I was told my mum had only a few days to live.
I got to the hospital, and the doctor sat me down, told me she had lung cancer, then said: ”She’s got about four days to live”.
He was right. She died exactly four days later. Her death and the time was one of the scariest things I have ever seen happen. But things are different now.
These days, lung cancer doesn’t have to be a death sentence. Finding it early could save your life and give you extra time to spend with your family.
I wanted to be involved in this campaign as I lost both my parents to lung cancer. I know the devastating impact cancer can have on families.
So rather than doing nothing about it, I urge anyone who is worried to get checked as early as they can.”
Alex Ferguson’s Wife (Cathy) and Children:
Ferguson lived in the South of Manchester from a young age. It was in this city he met his wife-to-be, Cathy, and they both got married in 1966.
Their marriage was immediately blessed with fruits. Their first son, Mark, was born in 1968. That’s two years after their marriage.
They waited for four years before they could have another. On the 9th of February 1972, Alex Ferguson and his wife had another set of lovely twins named Jason and Darren.
Alex Ferguson has been described as a caring husband by his wife, Cathy. He had loved her from day one.
Ferguson is someone who doesn’t look at the roles of women at home. He would sometimes assist in every house chore, including the kitchen.
Both lovers saw their children grow in happiness. For Alex Ferguson, ”Family is not an important thing. It’s everything.”
Their marriage has been described as one of the most successful in the UK. One many have seen that is worthy of emulation. Their celebrated marital life has lasted for over 51 years.
About Alex Ferguson’s Children:
Alex Ferguson’s eldest son Mark was a former manager of Peterborough United and a former professional footballer.
One of the twins named Daren, pictured below, once played under his dad’s Manchester United from the year 1990 to 1994. He currently manages Doncaster Rovers at the time of writing.
Another twin, Jason Ferguson, runs a football agency called ‘Elite Sport‘, which was once in partnership with Manchester United during the years of his father managing the club. He also runs an events management company.
Alex Ferguson Biography – Issue with David Beckham:
It is clear that Ferguson considers David Beckham to be one of his chief regrets.
He loved Beckham; he thought of him as a son and had nothing but admiration for the way that he chased his footballing dream; for his stamina, perseverance and desire to prove people wrong.
But Ferguson came to believe that Beckham had forgotten what had made him a star and, increasingly, neglected to work as hard on the pitch.
In 2003, Ferguson was involved in a dressing room argument with United player David Beckham.
He accused Beckham of failing to track back on an Arsenal goal at Old Trafford. Ferguson allegedly stoned a football boot in frustration, which hit the player in the face and caused an injury to Beckham.
David Beckham, however, did something. He allowed the wound to be photographed and interviewed the following day.
After observing his deeds, Ferguson made the decision to sell him. He believed that Beckham felt he had become bigger than him and the club.
Ferguson once wrote that Beckham had his face injury turn him into a celebrity. According to him ‘He had the conscious decision to pursue fame away from the field after the injury’.
He also writes that there was no “footballing reason” for Beckham to go to Los Angeles. ‘He squandered the chance to become of United’s most enduring legends.’ says Ferguson.
Alex Ferguson Bio – Issue with Roy Keane:
Sir Alex Ferguson paints the picture of Roy Keane, his former captain and talisman, as an erratic and terrifying figure, capable of frightening even him and, certainly, many players inside the dressing room.
Keane ruled with an iron fist and a savage tongue, which Ferguson said was the hardest part of his body.
Their fall-out became part of Old Trafford folklore, and Ferguson traces it to the decline in Keane’s on-field powers and the frustration he felt as a result.
Keane had been furious about what he felt had been substandard pre-season facilities at the Manchester United training ground.
He went on to give what was termed ‘a notorious interview to MUTV in which he criticized Ferguson and also many of his teammates, including Kieran Richardson, Darren Fletcher, Alan Smith, Edwin van der Sar and Rio Ferdinand.
Keane suggested that the squad watch the interview in order for them to make up their own minds, and what followed was a ferocious confrontation between him and many of the players, together with Ferguson.
He had to act, and he immediately sanctioned the paying up of Keane’s contract and his departure to Celtic.
Ferguson writes that Keane did pop in to see him apologise, but the relationship has since turned ugly again after public comments between the pair.
Alex Ferguson’s Issue with Ruud:
Alex Ferguson had once had an issue with Ruud, which he claimed came because of his rudeness. Their clash became the reason why
Ruud van Nistelrooy left Manchester United under acrimonious circumstances in 2006. Their issue started when Ruud openly swore and cursed him after he was benched during the Carling Cup Final against Wigan.
Ferguson claims he did not anticipate selling the forward to Real Madrid but his behaviour forced his hand. However, Van Nistelrooy made a phone call to Ferguson out of the blue in January 2010 to apologise for his behaviour.
Alex Ferguson Biography Facts – Recalling Loan Players:
Following the sacking of his twin son Darren Ferguson by Preston North End, Ferguson, in anger, immediately recalled loaned players Ritchie De Laet, Joshua King and Matty James from Preston under its new managerial system.
He later explained that it was the players’ own request not to return to Preston after the change of manager.
Stoke City manager Tony Pulis followed soon after in recalling two former Manchester United players from Preston as well, stating the need for the players to supplement his team’s intensive schedule.
Alex Ferguson Untold Bio – Once allowed Gareth Bale to Slip Away:
Sir Alex Ferguson never usually worries too much about the ones who get away, but the ex-Manchester United manager made an exception about Gareth Bale, admitting he had missed out on the player.
A report from Manchester United Scouts indicated that Bale meets Ferguson’s demand for a Left-footed player who could replace Ryan Giggs.
Ferguson himself made a request for scouts to bring Bale forward to him. However, there was something that made the transfer break down. Alex Ferguson, after seeing, complained he was too short.
Alex Ferguson Biography – Managerial Career Summary:
The 32-year-old Ferguson began his managerial career at East Stirlingshire in 1974, making an immediate impact with his fiery, competitive nature.
He moved to St. Mirren after a few months, and despite leading the Saints to the Scottish First Division championship in 1977, he was fired a year later for breach of contract.
It was with Aberdeen that Ferguson cemented his reputation as a top-flight manager. Breaking the Celtic-Rangers championship stranglehold, Ferguson led Aberdeen to three Scottish Premier League titles, four Scottish Cups, a League Cup, a Super Cup and a European Cup Winners’ Cup over eight seasons.
Alex Ferguson took over as boss of the renowned but underachieving Manchester United club in November 1986.
His job was reportedly on the line after a particularly rough stretch early in the 1989-90 season. His poor start came as a result of his mother’s death.
He spent a long time grieving for his mother who died of Lung cancer, which almost cost him his job.
Fortunately for him, The Red devils saw a recovery and win the FA Cup during his early spell. That kept him at his job. A string of successes followed AND the rest they say is history.
Alex Ferguson Legacy:
A bronze statue of Ferguson, designed by Scottish sculptor Philip Jackson, was unveiled outside Old Trafford on 23 November 2012.
On 14 October 2013, Ferguson attended a ceremony. One in which a road near Old Trafford was renamed from Water’s Reach to Sir Alex Ferguson Way.
Moreso, The phrase “squeaky-bum time” coined by Ferguson in reference to the tense final stages of a league competition has been included in the Collins English Dictionary and the Oxford English Dictionary.
Many of Ferguson’s former players have gone on to become football managers themselves, including Tony Fitzpatrick, Alex McLeish, Gordon Strachan, Mark McGhee, Willie Miller, Neale Cooper, Bryan Gunn, Eric Black, Bryan Robson, Steve Bruce, Mark Hughes, Roy Keane, Paul Ince, Chris Casper, Darren Ferguson, Ole Gunna Solskjær, Henning Berg and Gary Neville.
Alex Ferguson Bio – Politics:
He was awarded British knighthood in 1999 for his contribution to the game of football. In 1998, Ferguson was named in a list of the biggest private financial donors to the Labour Party.
He is a self-described socialist and a lifelong Labour supporter. In January 2011 Graham Stringer, a Labour MP in Manchester and Manchester United supporter, called for Ferguson to be made a life peer.
If this happened, it would make Ferguson the first current or former footballer or football manager to sit in the House of Lords.
Stringer and fellow Manchester Labour MP Paul Goggins repeated this call after Ferguson announced his retirement in May 2013. However, unnamed sources in the Daily Mirror newspaper claimed on 1 August 2013 that Ferguson had accepted.
During the 2014 Scottish independence referendum, Ferguson was a vocal supporter and funder of the Better Together campaign that supported Scotland remaining a part of the United Kingdom.
He criticised the Scottish National Party, and its leader Alex Salmond, for their decision to exclude Scots living outside Scotland, but within the rest of the United Kingdom, from voting in the referendum.
Alex Ferguson Education:
In 2009, Ferguson received an Honorary Doctorate in Business Administration from Manchester Metropolitan University.
It was the second degree he received from the university after receiving an honorary master’s degree in 1998.