Sir Alex Ferguson was born on 31 December 1941 in Govan, Glasgow. Football was his life from a young age. Having represented his country at Youth and Amateur levels he joined St Johnstone on a part-time basis in 1960 whilst completing his apprenticeship as a toolmaker for a typewriter manufacturer.
His career as a player also took him to Queen’s Park, Dunfermline Athletic, Rangers, Falkirk and Ayr United.
Extracts from the accompanying The Greatest Scot television programme are being added to these biographical notes as the programme is broadcast between November 9 and 13. If you live outside the UK, you will not be able to see these, but you may enjoy other videos about some of the subjects which are available via links in the text. Here is a vintage clip of Ferguson as a young man talking about former Manchester United manager Matt Busby.
By the end of the 1973-74 season, Ferguson has completed his 14 year playing stint, scoring 167 goals in 327 appearances that he made for various clubs.
At the age of 32, he began his management career with a part-time job at East Stirlingshire. It was only when he moved to the St.Mirren that he started his full-time management career. While he was coach, the Saints’ team won the Scottish First Division in 1976-77.
In June 1978, when he joined Aberdeen, he was younger than a few senior players of the team. But it was his time at Pittodrie where he earned his reputation as a top coach.
He broke the Old Firm dominance of Scottish football to lead Aberdeen to three Scottish titles. Aberdeen had not won a Scottish Championship for over 20 years but Ferguson’s natural leadership led them to win four Scottish cups, one League Cup and one European Cup Winners’ Cup.
On November 6, 1986, he moved to take up the post as manager of Manchester United. Stuck in the bottom four of the Division One table, Ferguson immediately set about attempting to stave off the very real threat of relegation.
His team won a crucial FA Cup during the 1988-89 season and the Premier League in 1992-93. His team-building tactics are world renowned, having introduced one of the finest groups of young players into the Red Devils’ squad inlcuding Ryan Giggs, David Beckham, Paul Scholes and Gary Neville.
Ferguson has worked with scores of talented players including Dwight Yorke, Andy Cole, Teddy Sheringham, Paul Ince, Roy Keane and Ole Gunnar Solskjær.
In the season of 1998-99, Ferguson’s team won an unprecedented treble of Premier League, FA Cup and UEFA Champions League trophies.
Manchester United have now won the Premier League 10 times, the FA Cup 5 times, the League Cup twice, the FA Charity/Community Shield eight times, the UEFA Champions League twice and the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup and UEFA Super Cup once each under Sir Alex.
Overall he has won more than 30 trophies during his time with Manchester United Football club. By winning the FA Premier League Manager of the Month 21 times, Sir Alex Ferguson became the only manager in the history of English football to have accomplished such a feat.