The time I met Alex Ferguson
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Even though I am from Derby, I have been a life-long Manchester United fan. With my father there was no choice – if you are in my family you support Utd. He has been a loyal Red for his whole life, at one point attending every game (home and away) and dragging my mum along to most of them as well. Alex Ferguson has been in charge of United for my whole life, and to me he is the club. When I was young we’d make it to a few games at Old Trafford a season, and all the away games in the Midlands. At one of these games at Notts County we arrived early to hang about the dug-out where some players used to come out and sign stuff. My dad was on a mission - the football team I played for (and he managed) was having an awards night. That night would feature a raffle and my dad was intent on getting a programme signed by the whole United squad. After getting signatures off Ryan Giggs and a few other players, we approached Steve Bruce and asked him if he’d take the programme in to get it signed. “Oh no, the boss will kill me if I do that,” was his response. The mission looked like it had failed. But a minute later, the boss himself walked out the dug out. My dad honed in on him immediately, we had a quick chat with my dad doing most of the talking, me looking up in awe at Fergie. After them discussing whether I was any good at football, my dad asked the question again. “Sure thing, give me ten minutes,” said the United legend. And ten minutes later we had a programme signed by the whole United team. My dad had made a promise to Alex that he would raffle it off to raise funds for our club, and that is what he was going to do. I begged, I pleaded – we should just keep it, Ferguson would never know. But I was shot down again and again, with my dad ending the matter abruptly with the following piece of fatherly wisdom. “If there’s one thing you don’t do. You don’t lie to Alex Ferguson.”
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