Sir Alex Ferguson Profile

Name Sir Alex Ferguson
Born Dec 31, 1941
Age 79 years
Birthplace Govan, Glasgow, Scotland
Height 5ft 9ins

From humble beginnings in Scotland to the pinnacle of world soccer, here's the story behind one of the greatest figures in sport history.

Sir Alex Ferguson is a retired football player and manager, most famous for his 27-year stint at Manchester United. The club is amongst the most successful in English top flight history, although that was not the case when Ferguson first arrived.

The Scot famously declared early in his stint at United that he would like to "knock Liverpool off their f*cking perch". At the start of the Premier League era, it was the Merseyside club that was England's most successful team with 18 top flight titles.

Manchester United won 13 under Sir Alex Ferguson's guidance, taking their total to 20. 

The manager led Manchester United to the Premier League, FA Cup and UEFA Champions League treble in 1998/99. Later, he led them to the 2007/08 Premier League and UEFA Champions League titles.

Sir Alex Ferguson and Manchester United

Ferguson rose to prominence in Scotland through spells in charge of East Stirlingshire, St Mirren, and, most notably, Aberdeen.

While in charge of the Dons, he won the Scottish Premier Division title in 1979/80, 1983/84, and 1984/85. After a brief spell presiding over the Scottish national team, Ferguson was appointed Manchester United manager on 6 November 1986, replacing Ron Atkinson.

Manchester United's new manager Alex Ferguson (L) at a press conference at Old Trafford, with chairman Martin Edwards.

United had not won the top flight title since 1966/67 and Ferguson was reportedly concerned by the quantities of alcohol being consumed by key players such as Norman Whiteside, Paul McGrath and Bryan Robson; and also by their lack of fitness.

However, Ferguson managed to instil discipline into his troops and they climbed from 21st in the league (second from bottom) to 11th place at the end of the 1986/87 season.

In 1987/88, Ferguson's United continue their revival. Key signings such as Steve Bruce, Viv Anderson, Brian McClair and Jim Leighton were made and the Red Devils finished second in the league, nine points behind Liverpool.

Dip in results despite big signings

The arrival of Mark Hughes back from Barcelona was intended to boost Manchester United and help them progress to the next level, but the 1988/89 season was troubling as United finished 11th in the league.

Midfielders Neil Webb, Mike Phelan, and Paul Ince arrived at Manchester United the following campaign, as well as defender Gary Pallister and winger Danny Wallace. However, the Red Devils quickly took a turn for the worse after a 4-1 win over defending champions Arsenal on the opening day of the season.

Calls began to grow for Ferguson's sacking. A banner reading "Three years of excuses and it's still crap ... ta-ra Fergie" was famously on display at Old Trafford in September 1989. Ferguson later described December of that year as "the darkest period [he had] ever suffered in the game".

First wave of success

The 1989/90 FA Cup arguably saved Ferguson's United career as his side stunned Nottingham Forest 1-0 in the third round en route to beating Crystal Palace in a final replay. Ferguson thus secured his first major trophy while in charge of the Red Devils.

He picked up another major prize when United won the 1991 European Cup Winners' Cup, beating Barcelona 2-1 in the final in Rotterdam. Hughes scored both goals for the Red Devils against his former club.

Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson with the European Cup Winners Cup trophy

The 1992/93 season was the first of the Premier League era and Ferguson's Manchester United won the title, signalling the dawn of a new era. This came off the back of a disappointing defeat to Leeds United in the 1991/92 top-flight title race, making Manchester United's success all the more enjoyable.

In 1993/94, United won the league title once again in convincing fashion, also capturing a young Roy Keane, who was brought in as a long-term successor to Bryan Robson.

The 1995/96 season saw United win their second double in three years as a youthful squad beat Liverpool 1-0 in the FA Cup final and snatched the Premier League title despite the best efforts of Newcastle United.

More changes, same success

In 1996/97, Manchester United won their fourth Premier League title in five seasons. Following the subsequent departure of star player Eric Cantona, Keane was appointed club captain. In 1997/98, Arsene Wenger confirmed his status as a generational rival of Ferguson by leading Arsenal to the Premier League title.

Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson celebrates with his players, after they defeated Bayern Munich in the Champions League final in Barcelona, Wednesday 26 May 1999. Manchester won 2-1.

The 1998/99 season was an historic one for Manchester United. Not only did they regain their Premier League and FA Cup titles, but they also won the UEFA Champions League - becoming the first English team to win all three of these trophies in the same season. Previously, they had not won the European Cup since their first and only prior triumph in 1968.

New millennium

The 1999/2000 season saw United once again win the Premier League time - this time by a then-record margin of 18 points. Then, in 2000/01, they became the fourth side in history to retain the league title for a third season.

Ferguson initially announced his intention to retire after the 2001/02 season, but then performed a u-turn on that midway through the campaign. Ultimately, it proved a difficult season as Arsenal wrestled the league title away from United again.

United won the title back in 2002/03 after signing centre-back Rio Ferdinand for a then-British record transfer fee of £29.3million from Leeds United. However, they did not win it again until 2006/07.

Cristiano Ronaldo leads Ferguson's United to more success

After Arsenal's invincibles stormed to the 2003/04 title and Chelsea won two in a row in the following two campaigns, a young Cristiano Ronaldo inspired the Red Devils' resurgence in 2006/07 and they won the Premier League once again.

In 2007/08, Ferguson's United once again edged Chelsea to the Premier League title. This time, they also beat the Blues in the UEFA Champions League final, winning on penalties after a 1-1 draw in Moscow.

United clinched their third Premier League title on the trot for the second time in the Ferguson era in 2009, but Ronaldo subsequently left for Real Madrid, leaving a gaping hole in the Red Devils' team.

Manchester United's Alex Ferguson and Cristiano Ronaldo receive their manager and player of the month trophies

In 2009/10, United were edged to the Premier League title by Chelsea. They won it back in 2010/11 only to lose it the following season to Manchester City in a nail-biting race.

After signing Robin van Persie from Arsenal ahead of the 2012/13 campaign, United won their 13th Premier League title under Ferguson's guidance. The Scotsman retired at the end of the season and was replaced by David Moyes, with United struggling in the ensuing decade.

Sir Alex Ferguson playing career

Ferguson enjoyed spells as a player for Queen's Park, St. Johnstone, Dunfermline Athletic, Rangers, Falkirk and Ayr United. He played as a forward, but was not nearly as successful as he later became in his managerial career.

Sir Alex Ferguson personal life

Ferguson is the father of Darren Ferguson, who is a football manager and former player himself. He has other sons, Mark and Jason.

Jason Ferguson found his dealings as an agent among the subjects of a BBC documentary Fergie and Son which led to the BBC being at loggerheads with Sir Alex Ferguson.

The BBC were banned from interviewing him between 2004 and 2011 as a result of their allegations that Manchester United had an improper business relationship with Jason Ferguson.

"They did a story about my son [Jason] that was a whole lot of nonsense. It was all made-up stuff and 'brown paper bags' and all that kind of carry-on. It was a horrible attack on my son's honour and he should never have been accused of that," Sir Alex Ferguson said, as quoted by The Independent.

Sir Alex Ferguson net worth

As per Goal, Ferguson was reported to have a basic salary of £4million while at Manchester United in January 2012. At the time, he reportedly had the chance to upgrade to £6.5million-a-year basic salary plus a £1million bonus.

This money may not have been insignificant, but Forbes estimated that he created £280million in value for the club. Ferguson was a worthwhile investment if judging by these figures alone.