Sir Alexander Chapman Ferguson CBE has enjoyed a spectacular career in football, both as a player and manager. He was born in Govan on Hogmanay 1941 to parents Alexander, a plater’s helper in the shipbuilding industry, and Elizabeth (née Hardie). After obtaining his Secondary School Certificate he completed an apprenticeship as a toolmaker with Remington Rand. His senior football playing career lasted from 1958 to 1974, when he entered management with East Stirlingshire, St Mirren and Aberdeen, before joining Manchester United in 1986.
There, his team went on to accumulate 38 trophies, including 5 FA Cups, 13 Premier League and 2 Champions League titles. He was knighted in 1999 and his overall tally of 49 trophies makes him the most successful British football manager in history. A hugely respected leader, Sir Alex led Manchester United to world-class success over a sustained period of time and grew the Club to become one of the biggest commercial brands in the world. In 2015, Sir Alex launched his book – Leading – an inspirational guide to great leadership, structured around the key skills that Sir Alex values most highly and credits for his success.
Here at GCU Archive Centre we are absolutely delighted to house this intimate glimpse into the life of Sir Alex Ferguson. It is not an exhibition, nor an archive, but a display of items of which Sir Alex himself has been the curator. The concept behind the display is the archive box but in this case the box is open and the numerous small stories told by the objects inside are here for all to see. We asked Sir Alex for items from each decade of his life so far and the result is a rich tapestry covering the 1940s to 2010s.
So often you enter a building named after someone and you want to know more about the person. Not so in the Sir Alex Ferguson Library! Here you are invited to connect with Sir Alex and his story; to spend a little time with him. Our display is not the definitive history with a huge narrative, but rather the opening of a box of memories.
The display can be found in our Archive Centre on the ground floor of the Sir Alex Ferguson Library
Carole McCallum – University Archivist – 01/11/2019