Alex Ferguson is already a legend in football while still at the height of his powers. Under his management Manchester United have piled success upon success, culminating in the unique treble of 1999 that brought them the Premiumship title, the FA Cup and the European Cup in 11 incredible days. Memories of 1999 were further enriched when Ferguson was awarded a knighthood for his achievements and United went on to win the World Club Championship in Tokyo.
Raised in the tough Govan district of Glasgow, where his father was a shipyard worker, Ferguson served a full apprenticeship as a toolmaker in engineering but football was always likely to dominate his life. He played for Qeen's Park and five other league clubs in Scotland, including the idols from his boyhood, Rangers. His immense talent for management was demonstrated by a series of triumphs at Aberdeen, and at United he has proven that he is one of the greatest organisers and leaders football has ever produced. His reputation for toughness is well justified but this story shows that intelligence and warmth are just as basic to his personality.
Hugh McIlvanney of The Sunday Times is Britain's most respected writer on sport. He shares the Scottish roots that are so important to Ferguson and their partnership is a huge success.