SIR Alex Ferguson is a love him or loathe him kinda guy. There's no denying his brilliance as a football man. It's his single minded focus and determination to succeed that makes him such a great football manager, but if you happen not to be a Manchester United fan, it also makes him hard to love.
This week, however, even those of us who wouldn't be his number one fans found something to admire in the man: he sticks to his principles.
He started life on a Govan shipyard. He became a trade unionist. He became a union leader and, despite all the fame and wealth he has amassed in the meantime, has remained true to those experiences and to the beliefs they informed.
He has always been a staunch supporter of the UK Labour Party and this week he showed a touch of class in putting a call to the Vita Cortex workers in Cork to support them. He told them to "keep up the good fight. I'm behind you."
A classy touch from the United boss.