Tributes to Sir Alex as he celebrates 25 years in charge of United
Published 22:58 29/10/11 By Brian McNally
Newcastle boss Alan Pardew has hailed Sir Alex Ferguson as the ultimate manager’s manager.
Pardew insisted that the Scot deserves immense respect for his work behind the scenes to help others.
Pardew said: “Sir Alex has given a lot back to the game that people don’t know about.
“His background as a trades union man in the Clydeside shipyards has made him a big player in the League Managers’ Association.
“He has been keen to try and ensure British coaches and managers do well. He encourages and offers advice to many managers.
“He opens his door at the training ground to every coach that asks for advice. Not many world-class managers would do that.”
Phil Neville remembers what it was like as a youngster in the company of Sir Alex Ferguson.
He said: “I can’t believe it’s 25 years. I remember when I went to the Cliff training ground as a 14-year-old and when I saw his car, it struck fear inside me. When I see him on the touchline now, even though he’s not my manager, there’s still that immense respect.
“We left on the best of terms. When you’ve been with someone since the age of 10 to 28 you just don’t cut off that person. We have a great relationship. He wouldn’t just watch me, he’d come in and coach me when I was 14.
“He’d know your father’s name and your mother’s name, which school you went to. The work ethic is unbelievable and he ingrained that into the whole club.”
Roberto Mancini doubts any manager will emulate Sir Alex Ferguson.
Manchester City boss Mancini said: “Ferguson started his job... when it was a different era. In England, maybe a manager can stay 10 years if he has good results. But I don’t know if we’ll see a manager do it for 25 years again.”
Bryan Robson was signed by Ron Atkinson and had a reputation for enjoying a drink.
But Ferguson was smart enough to recognise Robson’s rare talent and commitment to the cause. “Captain Marvel” led United to European Cup-Winners’ Cup glory and says of Ferguson: “I had skirmishes with the gaffer, but have a lot to be grateful to him for.”