Sir Alex Ferguson CBE was given the Freedom of the City of Glasgow in 1999. The Govan born footballer famously managed Aberdeen from 1978 to 1986 and Manchester United from 1986 to 2013. He also enjoyed a successful playing career for a number of Scotland’s leading clubs including Dunfermline, Rangers and Falkirk.
As manager of Aberdeen in the 1979-1980 season, Sir Alex guided the side to Scottish league victory for the first time in 25 years and followed up as champions in 1984 and 1985. His legendary Aberdeen team won the Scottish Cup in 1982 and the European Cup Winners Cup in 1983.
He was appointed manager of Manchester United in November 1986. Over the coming decade, he transformed the team into a winning side. Winning the FA cup in 1990, United went on to win the Cup Winners’ Cup and the 1991 UEFA Super Cup, before winning the league title in 1993 after a 26-year wait,
In 1999 the club won the treble of the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League. United would go on to win 38 trophies, including 13 league titles and two UEFA Champions League titles in 16 years.
‘Mandela is an example to the world’
Sir Alex met Nelson Mandela on three occasions, one of these at Mandela’s home on his 88th birthday. When United last played in South Africa in July 2012, Sir Alex went on national television there to join in the celebrations for Nelson Mandela’s 94th birthday.
Launching the Scottish memorial campaign on 9 October 2017, he said: “The remarkable thing about Nelson Mandela was his complete lack of bitterness at being imprisoned for 27 years.
“You have to be special to put to one side what he endured and suffered for over a quarter of a century and then go on to lead his country to democracy and influence his people in such a massive way. Nelson Mandela was special. An example for the world to follow.”
Sir Alex also praised the people of Glasgow, “For decades the ordinary people of Glasgow have played a terrific role in the anti-apartheid movement and as a Freeman of this great city I am proud to play my part in this campaign to honour a very special man.”