Alex Ferguson showed that he has lost none of his motivational power this week as he opened Salford City’s Peninsula Stadium.
The non-league club, owned by members of Manchester United’s ‘Class of 92’ such as Gary Neville and Paul Scholes, officially opened the new ground and invited the legendary Man United manager to assist in the unveiling.
Ferguson paid tribute to his former players for buying the club and giving back to their community – even though many would have thought that it was a risky venture:
“What you’ve done is given something back into the area that gave you the platform for your life.
“And a lot of people, maybe including myself, thought you were off your head, but nonetheless, putting something in is a measure of the character you’ve got and right through your lives.
“Whatever you’ve achieved, whatever you’ve tried to achieve has always been done with purpose, energy and belief in what you’re doing.”
Ferguson spoke of the character and attitude of his former players, crediting their perseverance and never-say-die spirit as a major factor in Man United scoring 166 last-minute goals during his time at Old Trafford:
“You look at the last minute goals United scored, that wasn’t done because of their ability, that was because they never gave in, their character never let them down. “They just bang, bang, banged the door and eventually it broke down.
“You know how many last minute goals we scored in my time? 166. The last fifteen minutes at United was 200.
“That wasn’t because of me, that was because of these lads, that was because of these players – they never gave in. It’s a quality too.”
The speech in full can be viewed below:
On this week’s episode of the Mixer Irish football podcast, we’re joined by ex-Cork City players Neal Horgan and Derek Coughlan to look back on the Leesiders’ title-winning season, as well as reaction Ireland’s World Cup play-off draw and the usual League of Ireland round-up.