Sir Alex Ferguson has become the greatest manager to lead Manchester United. His team has re-written the history books with their 19th Championship.
The foundations of the club’s winning culture was laid in the 1950’s by then manager Matt Busby another wily Scot whose emphasis on youth grabbed the imagination of the fans. Their path to football glory seemed set.
But on a snow bound runway in Munich the team was decimated. Twenty three people lost their lives including 8 players. A generation of Manchester United footballers was lost.
Their plane had crashed as the team returned from a European Cup match. The manager survived and a European trophy became the club’s holy grail.
In 1968, ten years after the Munich crash Matt Busby and Manchester United clinched the European Cup but fallow years were to follow.
Eric Cantona was one of several players who helped herald in a new era at Old Trafford after Ferguson had taken charge in 1986. Seven years later the first Premier League title was his.
Wayne Rooney was signed from Everton as Ferguson’s and the club’s stature began to gain world wide recognition helped by the global coverage of England’s Premier League. Money and trophies attracted the best.
The manager, it has been argued had a fortunate start to his United career inheriting a youth set up which included the likes of Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and David Beckham who became a global icon.
But is was Ferguson’s footballing alchemy which blended the eclectic talents and in 1999 was rewarded with an unprecedented treble, the League title, FA Cup and Champions League, his first. Now they will contest the final again at the end of May on the back of their record breaking 19th English League title.