Tuesday 21 January 2020

Fergie's lack of class does Moran a grave disservice

Alex Ferguson
Alex Ferguson
Vincent Hogan

Vincent Hogan

PERHAPS the only shred of humility immediately apparent in Alex Ferguson's new autobiography is the decision not to call himself 'Sir' in the title.

Otherwise, the soundtrack emanating from this week's launch has been one of spiraling ego and almost child-like score-settling from a man whose status in the game already spoke so loudly as to render such a narrative unworthy.

Roy Keane's ITV rebuke of Ferguson not understanding "the meaning of the word loyalty" certainly seemed justified as the line of cheap targets grew with each page. One of the more depressing ones was his glib depiction of Kevin Moran as "a punch-drunk boxer."

I was at Old Trafford the night Manchester United won their first Premier League title, courtesy of a 3-1 victory over Blackburn Rovers. This was five years after Moran had left United for Sporting Gijon, before returning to play for Rovers. He was now a veteran figure and was deployed that night in the centre of Blackburn's midfield. The Dubliner's performance carried wonderful composure and intelligence, drawing a sustained ovation from the Old Trafford faithful as he was replaced towards the end.

On a night that United's supporters might have been forgiven for drowning in self-interest, they still found the dignity to recognise Moran, one of their most honourable and courageous former players.

What a pity, 20 years later, Ferguson couldn't match such grace.

Irish Independent

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