Monday, November 06, 2006

Congratulations Sir Alex

Today is the 20th anniversary of Sir Alex Ferguson joining Manchester United as Manager in 1986.

Sir Alex is the most successful football manager in my lifetime and most would agree the most successful ever
.

I had the immense pleasure of exchanging correspondence with Sir Alex who was kind enough to endorse my book Simplicity is the Key. I was impressed that this icon of world football found time to respond not once but twice to me about the book. He provided me with insightful and personal comments about leadership based on his experience and I continue to use his words.

And then, when I left the NHS 2 years ago, I received a photograph from Sir Alex that I have proudly displayed on our office wall. His hand written message on the photograph reads;

‘To Trevor, wishing you a happy future and good health to enjoy it.’ Yours Alex Ferguson.

Sir Alex is not only a fantastic manager, he is a man who had the humility to make me feel very special. He did not have to take time in his busy schedule to do the things he has for me - I value his wisdom.

2 comments:

tomjam said...

Hi Trevor

Six or seven years ago my Dad, who is a clergyman by profession, was awarded an honorary MA by the University of Manchester. The small degree ceremony included four other honorary graduates including Sir Alex, who gave an acceptance speech on behalf of all the graduands. In the speech he said a few words about each of the others and spoke about the values he had grown up with and his philosophy of 'tough love' for his players. The speech was clearly self-written and it was heartfelt and deeply humble. The awful thought I have in relation to the current climate in football is that it took Fergie five years to get any real success and yet Premiership clubs seem unprepared to give managers that long to build a great team/club.

Trevor Gay said...

That is a great story tomjam and thanks for sharing it. I found in my limited dealings with Sir Alex that he is indeed humble and ‘grounded’. He remains firmly rooted in the values of his upbringing. I have his book – ‘Managing My Life’ on my shelf and often draw inspiration from it.

Great to hear your Dad is a clergyman - both Annie and I are Christians and we are active in our local church. We find inspiration of course through our faith.

Like you I wish managers were given longer by clubs but I fear it will never happen these days because poor results and pressure for success makes Chairmen ‘pull the trigger’ sooner than 20 years ago. I am of course thrilled United gave Sir Alex time to build his team. I have just watched United lose to Southend!! … Oh well such is life :-)