AFTER the announcement on Wednesday that Sir Alex Ferguson
(above) is to retire as manager of Manchester United after
26 years in the post, the Dean of Manchester, the Very Revd Rogers
Govender, said: "Manchester and its cathedral will miss Sir
The cathedral, he said, "has a close relationship with the club.
We have hosted a number of events for players and club
The general director of Christians in Sport, Graham Daniels,
said: "We know plenty about the Sir Alex Ferguson who has been a
giant of world football. . . We have known less about his private
life over the years. The little insight given in his retiring
statement speaks volumes about his life behind the scenes."
He praised Sir Alex's comments about the support of his family.
They were "class, and a model to all leaders in the world of
The head of public affairs for the Evangelical Alliance, Don
Horrocks, who is a life-long Manchester United supporter, said that
the announcement was "probably the only news story that could have
toppled the Queen's Speech from the top of the news bulletins".
He added: "I wish Sir Alex a long and very happy retirement
after many years of outstanding service. . . I trust that
Christians - especially those who support football clubs everywhere
- would join me in expressing the hope that a worthy successor is
appointed to maintain the club's tradition for top-class sporting
Sir Alex is considered to be the most successful manager in
English football history. His team won 38 trophies in his time as
manager, including 13 league titles and five FA Cups, and also
secured the European Champions League twice.He will bow out after
Manchester United's final game of the season, on 19 May.
Sir Alex grew up in Glasgow, and attended the Shiloh Hall church
on Sundays, before joining the 129th Glasgow Company of the Boys'
Brigade, where the company leader, Johnny Boreland, introduced him
In 2007, Sir Alex told the Church of Scotland's magazine
Life and Work: "Johnny was an absolute fanatic for the
game. When we went to camp in places like Stonehaven, we were given
a list of everything we had to bring with us, and at the bottom, in
big capital letters, he'd put 'AND FOOTBALL BOOTS'" (
News, 29 December 2007).
Question of the Week: Was Sir Alex Ferguson a good