As British football’s most successful manager steps down after 26 years in charge at Manchester United, BBC Sport pays tribute to Sir Alex Ferguson in a Football Focus special.
Football Focus presenter Dan Walker introduces ‘Fergie Time’, a special tribute programme tonight (May 8) on BBC One at 10.35pm that will look back at Ferguson’s extraordinary managerial career with the red devils, where the 71-year-old amassed a sensational 38 trophies during his lengthy spell in charge.
His haul includes 13 Premier League titles, two Champions League wins, five FA Cups and four League Cups, a record that is unlikely to be equalled or surpassed.
BBC Sport’s special tribute programme will be broadcast on the same day that Ferguson announced his retirement from the Manchester United managerial hotseat.
Joining Walker in the studio will be three men who all got to know Ferguson and his unique style well during his reign at Manchester United – Robbie Savage, Dion Dublin and Steve McClaren.
Although he never played a first team game, Savage started his playing career as a trainee striker at Manchester United and was part of the famous FA Youth Cup winning team in 1992.
Dion Dublin player under Ferguson for two seasons from 1992 to 1994 after being signed by the Scot for £1m, while Steve McClaren joined United in early 1999 as assistant manager, replacing Brian Kidd, and played his part in delivering the unprecedented League/FA Cup/Champions League treble to Old Trafford.
Along with classic footage from the archives, the special BBC programme also features contributions from Match of the Day regulars Gary Lineker, Alan Shearer and Alan Hansen, as well as former Manchester United and Liverpool striker Michael Owen, who retires himself at the end of the current season.
The programme will also look back at Ferguson’s recent in-depth Football Focus interview with Dan Walker, his first for the BBC’s long-running Saturday lunchtime preview programme in over a decade.
During his 25 years in charge at Old Trafford, United have won an incredible 38 trophies, making the Scot the most successful manager in English football history.
Rumours of Ferguson’s imminent departure circulated late on Tuesday night after the Daily Telegraph’s northern football correspondent Mark Ogden broke what may turn out to be the biggest sporting scoop of the year.
In a statement released by Manchester United on Wednesday morning (May 8), Ferguson said: “The decision to retire is one that I have thought a great deal about and one that I have not taken lightly. It is the right time.
“It was important to me to leave an organisation in the strongest possible shape and I believe I have done so.
“The quality of this league winning squad, and the balance of ages within it, bodes well for continued success at the highest level whilst the structure of the youth set-up will ensure that the long-term future of the club remains a bright one.
“I must pay tribute to my family, their love and support has been essential.
“As for my players and staff, past and present, I would like to thank them all for a staggering level of professional conduct and dedication that has helped to deliver so many memorable triumphs.
“Without their contribution the history of this great club would not be as rich.
“To the fans, thank you. The support you have provided over the years has been truly humbling.
“It has been an honour and an enormous privilege to have had the opportunity to lead your club and I have treasured my time as manager of Manchester United.”
The most successful manager in English football history will bow out after Manchester United’s final Premier League game of the season against West Bromwich Albion game on May 19
Ferguson will then step aside for his successor and become a director and global ambassador for the club.
Sky Sports will also screen a series of programmes dedicated to Sir Alex Ferguson.
After its live coverage of the Chelsea and Tottenham showdow, there will be several shows paying tribute to and celebrating the career of the 71-year-old Scot, including highlights of three of his greatest games in charge.
Plus David Jones will host a half-hour show discussing the departing Old Trafford legend in a ‘Sir Alex Ferguson Special’ at 10.15pm, with guests including former Manchester United defender turned Sky pundit Gary Neville, alongside Graeme Souness and Glenn Hoddle.
Wednesday 8th MayFergie Time: A Football Focus Special 10.35pm-11.15pm – BBC One Regional Variations 11.05pm-11.45pm – BBC One Wales 11.35pm-12.15am – BBC One Northern Ireland . .. Sir Alex Ferguson Special Guests: Gary Neville, Glenn Hoddle and Graeme Souness 10.15pm-10.45pm – Sky Sports 1