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Alex: The Man Behind The Legend

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A win against Middlesbrough on the final day sealed the title for United and the team beat Liverpool by a goal to nil to win the 1996 FA Cup Final; this was their second double in three years. FC Köln in the 1967–68 competition, and an important strike against Athletic Bilbao in the 1968–69 edition which helped Rangers into the semi-finals, [23] but on both occasions they were knocked out by English opposition. He did not speak to her for six weeks, confiscated her keys and communicated only through a 17-year-old assistant.

The team won 13 out of 15 matches, though finished third in the league behind Arsenal and Liverpool. In a column for The Daily Telegraph, Hansen said Ferguson "will recognise this difficult start to the season for what it is: the greatest challenge of his career". Ferguson's playing career began as an amateur with Queen's Park, where he made his debut as a striker, aged 16.That summer, there had been speculation that he would take over from Ron Atkinson at Manchester United, who had slumped to fourth in the English top flight after a ten-match winning start. After 7 minutes of injury time – which was subsequently dubbed "Fergie Time", alluding to extra minutes allegedly being granted to Ferguson's teams to get a goal – Bruce scored the 97th minute winner, with Ferguson celebrating the goal by running from his dugout on to the touch line, while assistant Brian Kidd ran on to the field.

The concept cropped up in the media (and by opponents) whenever games seemed to be having more injury time than expected. The phrase "squeaky-bum time" coined by Ferguson in reference to the tense final stages of a league competition has been included in the Collins English Dictionary and the Oxford English Dictionary. In March 2021, he added that when he was signed, a Rangers director had questioned whether the Fergusons had been married in a (Catholic) chapel, and that the director had replied "oh, that's okay" when told they had married in a registry office.Towards the end of his playing career he also worked as a coach, then started his managerial career with East Stirlingshire and St Mirren. The term got wider coverage when United came from behind to win the 1999 UEFA Champions League final with two goals in injury time. In later years, Ferguson elaborated on the club's decision: "We did it to help England's World Cup bid. Although the team had a slow start to the 2008–09 season, [180] United won the Premier League with a game to spare, [181] making Ferguson the first manager in the history of English football to win the top division three times consecutively, on two separate occasions. Ferguson had now won 11 league titles at Manchester United, and the 2008–09 season title success put them level with Liverpool as league champions on a record 18 occasions in total.

Van Nistelrooy, however, failed his medical, but Ferguson reassured him that "we might yet find a way out of the nightmare". Ferguson is often credited for valuing youth during his time with Manchester United, particularly in the 1990s with the " Class of '92", who contributed to making the club one of the richest and most successful in the world.He described his first match as a "nightmare", [16] but scored Queen's Park's goal in a 2–1 defeat against Stranraer.

However, they won the European Cup Winners' Cup, beating that season's Spanish champions Barcelona 2–1.

Ferguson is the longest-serving manager of Manchester United, having overtaken Sir Matt Busby's record on 19 December 2010. Ferguson felt that his failure to secure the signing of Mick Harford from Luton Town had cost United the league, and that he needed "an extra dimension" to the team if they were to win the league the following season.

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