United pay further tribute to Fergie
Published 23/11/2012 | 17:09
Sir Alex Ferguson joked that he had "outlived death" as a statue of him was unveiled at Old Trafford.
Ferguson was suitably impressed by the creation, which has been positioned outside the stand which bears his name.
"Normally people die before they have a statue," Ferguson said. "I am outliving death."
Ferguson's wife Cathy unveiled the tribute for the Manchester United manager in front of a host of football dignitaries and former players, including Eric Cantona, Ruud van Nistelrooy and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. In addition, Cristiano Ronaldo, David Beckham and former Prime Minister Tony Blair were among those to pay tribute by video.
The nine-foot high statue, created by renowned sculptor Philip Jackson, depicts Ferguson by the touchline, arms folded, concentrating on the game.
Ferguson joked that Cathy had promised him that "she would come down here every Saturday morning and bow to the statue".
There were also plenty of fans present for the ceremony, which was conducted by TV presenter and lifelong United fan Eamonn Holmes.
"I've had an incredible journey at the club and so many great players, some of whom are here today," Ferguson said. "They should build this statue for them all, because they've all been absolutely marvellous."
After attending the unveiling, Ferguson went into the North Stand to view the pictures of the great achievements of his staggering reign.
"Everyone can talk eloquently about the great football teams he has built and world-class players he has developed and managed," United chief executive David Gill said."But for me, as a fan, a colleague and a friend, the greatest thing he has brought back to this club is respect. Respect for the staff, respect for the heritage and history of the club and respect for the Manchester United way."