Today, Sunday 6th November 2016, marks Sir Alex Ferguson’s 30th anniversary, we look back at his top ten moments as Manchester United manager.
What memories make yours?
10. Ryan Giggs made his debut – 2nd March 1991
Despite losing 2-0 to Everton on the day, 2nd March 1991 marked Ryan Giggs introduction to the first team; little did we know that skinny seventeen year old would go on to become the most decorated player in English football history.
9. Cristiano Ronaldo signed for Manchester United – 12th August 2003
Having sold David Beckham to Real Madrid, and failing to lure Ronaldinho as his replacement, Sir Alex turned his attention to Sporting Lisbon prospect Cristiano Ronaldo. One of the best signings in recent memory, the three-time Ballon d’Or winner has since gone on to become one of the best players to have braced the beautiful game.
8. Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement U-Turn – February 2002
After declaring his intention to retire at the end of the 2001-02 campaign, Sir Alex’s decision to postpone his retirement for ‘at least another three years’ was iconic. The Scotsman retained the Manchester United helm for another eleven years, notably adding another six Premier League titles and a UEFA Champions League title to his already impressive collection.
7. The King – Eric Cantona signed for Manchester United – 26th November 1992
After missing out on Alan Shearer and David Hirst, Ferguson’s acquisition of Eric Cantona in 1992 is now regarded as one of his most pivotal signings, as the Frenchman proved to be a remarkable catalyst to United’s success in the 90’s.
6. A touch of Bruce – 10th April 1993
After being neglected of the Premiership title for twenty-six years, a famous brace from Steve Bruce secured put United in the driving seat for the first ever Premiership title. Bursting with nostalgia, the famous winner came deep into stoppage time, an iconic header that United will never forget.
5. The emergence of the Class of ’92 – Summer 1995
After finishing the 94-95’ season empty-handed, Ferguson discarded Paul Ince, Andrei Kanchelskis and Mark Hughes, and in turn promoted youngsters Nicky Butt, Paul Scholes, David Beckham, and the Neville brothers; graduates of the infamous Class of 92’.
After ex-Liverpool player Alan Hansen’s infamous remarked on Match of the Day ‘you can’t win anything with kids’, the Class of 92’ went on to become mainstays in the United side for over remainder of Ferguson’s all-conquering career.
4. UEFA Champions League final, Moscow – 21st May 2008
After a tense affair with Chelsea in the 2008 Champions League Final, a penalty shoot-out slip by John Terry and followed by a save by Edwin van der Sar secured Ferguson’s second European Cup in Moscow.
3. Sir Alex Ferguson’s first trophy – FA Cup – 12th May 1990
After a troublesome beginning to his tenure, Ferguson’s FA Cup win in 1990 over Crystal Palace earmarked the beginning to his trophy conquering campaign.
2. Knocking Liverpool off their perch – 2011
United’s league 19th league title in 2011 was Sir Alex Ferguson’s most remarkable achievement. After arriving at United with a 16-7 deficit to Liverpool, Sir Alex Ferguson’s twelfth Premiership title constituted to successfully ‘knocking Liverpool off their perch’.
The impossible dream, made possible by Sir Alex Ferguson.
1. That night in Barcelona – 26th May 1999
No doubt embedded into every Manchester United fan’s memory, the Red Devils faced Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League final, 26th May 1999.
Trailing by a goal to nil going into injury times, stupendous last-minute goals from Teddy Sheringham, and then Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s sealed a famous, and first ever, treble.
After a career studded with memories, Ferguson himself picked out United’s 1999 Champions League final – the year they won the treble – as his career highlight. The most classic example of ‘Fergie Time’ or ‘Squeaky Bum Time’, that night in Barcelona is undoubtedly the pinnacle of Sir Alex Ferguson’s career.
Bonus Round! Silencing the noisy neighbours – 20th September 2009
With Manchester City’s emergence in 2009, Sir Alex branded the city-rivals as ‘a small club with a small mentality.’ After a tight ninety minutes, Michael Owen’s heroic stoppage time strike led United to a famous 4-3 win which subdued ‘noisy neighbours’ Manchester City.