Image courtesy of The Telegraph
I normally try to keep the content of this blog about books and other things to do with the literacy community, but this is something I have to say because not only as a Manchester United supporter, but also as a fan of Football. The landscape of this sport is forever changed now.It won’t be the same anymore.
Goodbye to Fergie Time
I don’t know if the phrase “You don’t choose the club, the club chooses you” is an official one, but it clearly is for me. I never chose to support Manchester United, but it did break into my heart when I wasn’t even expecting it. Boy am I glad it did, because the rush of euphoria is something to be reckoned with. Throughout lives of those who support Manchester United there have been constant changes whether it be the birth of a new family member or the death of a family member, marriage, work all of those happened. But Sir Alex Ferguson always remained. If there was one certainty we could all look for it was that our ‘Fergie’ would remain to guide the ship of Manchester United to the pinnacle of Football Glory season in season out. The one day we all lived to dread was the day that he would choose to walk away. Walk away from magnificent dynasty he created for the past 27 years. Sir Alex Ferguson, possibly British Football’s greatest manager steps down from his throne at Old Trafford at the end of the season.
I had heard the rumours and it even appeared in The Telegraph, but that’s what I thought it was, just another rumour. I mean everybody has been speculating when he would leave, but knowing Fergie it’s always been best to cross the bridge when you come to it. What if you don’t know how to cross that bridge? This is a man you’ve known your entire life, I mean he was in charge of Manchester United since your brother was born. How do you learn to let go of a man who has remained at the helm of the club you support for pretty much your entire lifetime. How do you say Good-bye? I don’t think any of us who support Manchester United know the correct answer to that question. Sir Alex Ferguson has been Manchester United and this day is probably more’ painful than when we lost the title to Manchester City last season. Some people might even say “why do you care so much? United will find another manager” that’s where people are wrong. We’re not a club that chops and changes managers like you eat hot cakes. We’re a club about tradition, stability, longevity, emotion and attacking football. We’ve had one manager for the past 27 years and look at what we’ve won: 13 league titles, 2 Champion’s League Titles, 5 Fa Cup, 4 League Cups, 10 Community Shields, 1 Club World Cup, 1 Cup Winner’s Club, 1 Intercontinental Cup. That is the success United fans have been spoiled with for the last 27 years. We don’t know how to accept defeat anymore and defeat is going to be a strange thing in the coming seasons.
I remember when my dad told me about the Munich Air Disaster which took the lives of the 8 of the Busby Babes- a team built on youth with an emphasis on attacking football by Sir Matt Busby in 1958. I was shocked by the tragedy and digged deeper about it. My dad then said it’s that tragedy that drives United forward. It is tragedy that gave a sense of meaning and a duty to the club. I can’t even imagine what it was like for Sir Matt Busby to think of himself as one of the survivors of that crash. But then United rose from the ashes. My dad is fond of saying that “We’re the club that rose from the ashes” and from the ashes we’ve risen to great heights. But that pain is something all United fans feel whether you were born in 2000 or in the 1950′s. Pain is something that has united this club. This is why we’re Manchester United. I remember watching United and being so mesmerized by the beauty of their football. It was just flowing. Through the Ferguson era, there have been true legends such as Eric Cantona, Roy Keane, Ryan Giggs, David Beckham, Ronaldo these are all players who have shined on the stage of football thanks to Sir Alex Ferguson.
What do you tell a man who has given football and you as a supporter so much? I don’t know if a simple “Thank You” is enough. But that’s all I could say. Thank You for the beautiful football, for the success, for the rollercoaster of emotions throughout the season. Thank you for giving my dad and I something to share. Thank You for all of that. Manchester United will miss you. I can’t picture Sundays without you in the dugout, but I’m glad to know you’ll be staying on as a director. I always wanted to take my dad to Old Trafford when you were in charge, but it looks like that won’t happen. But I will make it to the Theatre of Dreams one day. Maybe I’ll see you too.
Sir Alex Ferguson is a special person. When special people take a walk in life, you know they’re special because they have an aura about them. Fergie has that. He was a strong character and boy could he be ruthless. But he was a fearless leader and he loved Manchester United. No one can argue with that. If he wasn’t any of those things he’d never endure the changed landscape of football. But he has and no one will repeat that longevity in the modern game in my lifetime. I wouldn’t want him to be any other way.
I hope you enjoy your retirement and as cliché as it sounds we’ve all truly appreciated everything you’ve ever done for the club. We may not have agreed on your decisions sometimes, but we always trusted you.
And now we say good-bye to the man from Govan, Scotland.
Fergie Time now draws to a close
A Manchester United Fan.