A 9ft bronze statue of Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has been unveiled outside Old Trafford, to celebrate his 26 years at the club.
The honour is the second of its kind bestowed upon the club’s most successful manager, a year after the North Stand of the stadium was renamed “The Sir Alex Ferguson Stand”.
Former United players who have contributed to Ferguson’s phenomenal haul of silverware down the years were present, with Eric Cantona, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Dwight Yorke, Andy Cole, Edwin van der Sar, Peter Schmeichel and Gary and Phill Neville all in attendance, whilst David Beckham, Cristiano Ronaldo and FIFA President Sepp Blatter sent pre-recorded messages.
Beckham, part of the famous 1999 Treble Winning United side, said:
“What an amazing day for you, your family and for the club.
“I just want to say thank you for everything you have done for me. My time at United was without doubt the highlight of my career and I cherish it.”
“You 100 per cent deserve this with what you have done.
Lady Cathy – Ferguson’s wife of 46 years – officially unveiled the statue with Ferguson joking that she promised to “bow to it each morning”.
Ferguson, who noted that legends at the club usually pass away before seeing their statues, joins the likes of George Best – who died in 2005 – to be immortalised in bronze.
“Normally people die before they see their statue, so I’m out-living death. I’ve had an incredible journey at the club and I’ve had so many great players, some of whom are here today.
The most successful British manager of all time, he was knighted in 1999 for his services to football, and in 2010 surpassed Sir Matt Busby’s record to become the longest serving manager of the club, where he has won an unprecedented 48 trophies. During that tenure, he has outlived five American Presidents and British Prime Minister’s, 10 Liverpool managers, twelve England managers and nineteen Manchester City managers.
The statue was created by award-winning sculptor Philip Jackson, who has sculpted statues of Mozart and the Queen. Other football commissions have included Sir Matt Busby and World Cup-winning captain Bobby Moore..
source – the mirror
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