On Saturday as I made my way to the gate at Old Trafford there was an announcement on the Tannoy; it asked that all spectators be in their seats 10 minutes before kick-off because Sir Alex's 25th anniversary as Manchester United manager was to be recognized in a small ceremony.
Both teams' players lined up in a guard of honour style and Chief Executive David Gill was waiting near the Centre spot for The Boss with a microphone. A few words were said which I didn't fully hear and then as everyone quietened down David Gill Chief executive announced that the North Stand was going to be named after Sir Alex Ferguson! The place was for a moment really quiet apart from the dumb Sunderland fans trying to ruin the occasion, as everyone was very surprised by the announcement. Even from the second tier of the Stretford End I immediately knew that Fergie was just as surprised because his body language said it so loudly and clearly.
The majority of the songs were for Fergie from that point on and even though I was a little dissapointed by some of our play, it will be one of the most fondly remembered days at Old Trafford I have. Regarding the match itself, there were some very good individual performances and I felt Patrice Evra played some wonderful attacking football. Phil Jones deserves a mention for his attitude alone, Wayne Rooney worked as hard as usual and Chirarito's hold up play is ever-improving. All together it was a disciplined display from United and although Sunderland didn't offer much of a test for our defence they worked very hard at stopping the Reds and their keeper saved them from a heavier defeat.
The following stats are from Man United Official Website.
Sir Alex's trophies in numbersSilverware is a true measure of success and Sir Alex has seen plenty of it in his time at United. Here we take a look at his trophies in numbers...
Premier League (1993, 1994, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011)
1999/00 – United’s most comprehensive league title yet – biggest winning margin of points (18), most goals (97), most points in a 38-game season (91), joint-most wins and joint-least defeats (28 and 3)… good job all round, we’d say.
111 – Wayne Rooney has scored more Premier League goals for Sir Alex than another other player, netting 111 goals in 226 league appearances (up to 05/11/11) – almost exactly one in two. His goals have contributed to four league titles.
1597 – the total points we've amassed in all Premier League campaigns (up to Everton) – that’s an incredible 202 points more than our nearest challenger, Arsenal. Catch us if you can…
7 injury-time minutes had elapsed before Steve Bruce won all three points against Sheffield Wednesday in April 1993, spurring us on to our first Premier League title.
18 – the number of points directly delivered by Eric Cantona goals in 1995/96’s Double Double season. Five games had a score of 1-0 (Cantona), and he hit our goal in three draws.
FA Cup (1990, 1994, 1996, 1999, 2004)
85’ – the magic-minute mark when Cantona grasped history in May 1996. The Cup-winning goal made United the first team to land the Double on two occasions – in the space of three years as well.
9 – Roy Keane lasted less than 10 minutes of the final in 1999, injured in a Gary Speed challenge – two minutes before Teddy Sheringham broke the deadlock. Sheringham had been Keane’s replacement and had only been on the pitch for 96 seconds before he was celebrating finding the net.
15 – United hit three goals in the final against Millwall in 2004 and bagged 12 to get to Cardiff in the first place. Cristiano Ronaldo got one and Ruud van Nistelrooy a brace to tame the Lions. Ruud’s first came from the spot, only his second success from five penalties that season.
11 – Sir Alex is the most decorated boss in FA Cup history. His five trophies have made United the most successful club
in the competition, contributing to our 11 Cups.
£100 – the amount Dennis Wise bet Cantona he’d miss his first penalty in the 1994 Cup final against Chelsea. Eric
also bagged a second spot-kick in a 4-0 victory. To be fair to Wise, he did pay up.
Europe (Cup Winners' Cup 1991, Champions League 1999, 2008)
4 – United’s Cup Winners’ Cup triumph in 1991 was the first time we’d won the competition in four attempts. Sporting Lisbon ended Sir Matt Busby’s run in 1963, Porto were the victors in 1977 and Juventus halted Big Ron in 1984’s semi-final. The boss called the victory ‘a major step forward’.
759 – Ryan Giggs broke Sir Bobby Charlton’s appearance record in Moscow in 2008 by making his 759th bow in Red.
180 – There were three minutes, or 180 seconds, of injury time added to the final in 1999, a period Sir Alex said encapsulated United spirit. “They summed up everything that’s made United the greatest club in the world,” he said.
81% of fans believed that United’s 1999 European title was “good for English football”, according to a Gallup poll.
League Cup (1992, 2006, 2009, 2010)
50 – United successfully defended the League Cup for the first time in 2010, in what was the competition’s 50th anniversary.
6 – Carlos Tevez was joint-top scorer in the 2008/09 cup with six – four came in the quarter-final with Blackburn.
15 goals were scored by United on the way to lifting the League Cup for the first time in 1992. Brian McClair netted in the first match on the road to Wembley, against Cambridge United, and scored the only goal of the final against Nottingham Forest.
66,866 – the number of fans who watched United lift the 2006 League Cup at the Millennium Stadium, the last trophy we picked up in Cardiff.
Community Shield (1993, 1994, 1996, 1997, 2003, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011)
Inter-Continental Cup (1999)
Club World Cup (2008)
30 – On as a sub at half-time in the 2010 Community Shield against Chelsea, it took new signing Javier Hernandez just half an hour to register his first competitive goal for the Reds – a shot that rebounded off his face. United won 3-1.
22,110 – Due to redevelopment work at Old Trafford, just over 22,000 saw our 1-0 Super Cup victory over Red Star
Belgrade in 1991. The tie was supposed to be over two legs, but only the game in Manchester was played because of political unrest in the Yugoslav capital.
1 – No British side had won the Inter-Continental Cup before – United lost out to Estudiantes in 1968 – and Sir Alex
described the victory over Palmeiras as ‘no mean feat’ and quite liked calling his club ‘world champions’.
575 – In the 2008 Community Shield against Portsmouth, Sir Alex fielded a side with 575 caps between them. The experience told from the penalty spot. Jermain Defoe was the only Pompey man to score, while Tevez, Giggs and Carrick netted for us.
Watch the naming of the Sir Alex Ferguson Stand at Manutd.com
Also, here is a channel with some great old footage about Manchester United and it's history.