A Lesson Ferguson’s Life With Man Utd. Teaches.

Ferguson to retire at end of seasonIf you are like me, you don’t know jack about football; except for a few club names and hot shots who ride in the gig.

If you are like my friends, you probably stop over at a bar on your way home from work to start a game, or follow live scores till you step into the house to watch a match with your shoes on. Without facts in hand, it’ll be fair to say 4 in 5 men love football than their significant other – or at least talk about it more .

A more fascinating story that has recurrently run in the headlines lately is Alex Ferguson’s retirement as club manager of Manchester United and oh! I know him so well, thanks to my friends who drummed his name endlessly in my ears; “Fergie!” “Ferguson!”  “The Boss!” (and as my yoruba friends like to call him) “Fregeh!” – so much it only took me a split second to realise his retirement was big news.

And it feels awkward to ‘know nothing’ about Big News.

My word! I raised a thump seeing all the accolades he accrued in his 26 year commitment to Manchester United, and the statute made in his honor, the praises, the criticisms. For some people, it was a moment of unending joy – finally! The Boss is gone; for others, it was a mind-numbing heartbreak.




Looking through Ferguson’s Biography, it’s pretty clear Ferguson has his own tale; bouts of defeat,  slow rise to success, grit, indecision about retirement, glorious walk into the hall of fame and all things possibly imaginable by any football enthusiast.

Fergie lived up to his game, leaving when the ovation was loudest.. or at a time he thought perfect.

And on his behalf, these are some things you can hold to heart about him in the number of years you’d live to remember him.

Ferguson’s first match was a nightmare,

He struggled to get regular minutes to play before he got the opportunity to play with a professional team.

Before his stint at Aberdeen FC, he  was demoted to play with a junior team instead of the Club’s first team.

He was sacked at Aberdeen for breach of contract.

Some people called him abusive.

His career as manager was on the line in his first few years with Manchester United; his offence? 3 years of excuses.

People called him immature, petty, a poor manager.

But he stayed true to himself and never doubted his “calling”.

Early on, he had known what he wanted; he  realised his life wouldn’t make any significant difference if he loved his books more.

So he carried on, honing his skill, loving his work and growing his team.

He did it so good, his son Darren (one of his many protegés) played with his team and now manages another football team.

38 trophies is nothing close compared with the lives he touched in 26 years.


Rio Ferdinand tweeted “the boss’ work ethic, his desire to win + to make us better players were unrivalled.  Thanks boss!”





This is a glimpse into what happens in the lives of successful people; whether as leaders, entrepreneurs or team-mates. It’s never a straight path to the top; you won’t always get a pat on the back but you have to keep on till you get there.

Ferguson is not an epitome of perfection and he wasn’t “all that” as a  leader but even non-enthusiast like me can learn a thing or two from him.

Thank you Fergie! we learned to speak football better!


Credit : ImageTrolley

Nathan Jeffery
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