The Special One
February 12, 2014
WEBWATCH: Ken Masters
We say welcome to 2014 as we bid farewell to 2013. Every passing year has its special memories. They may be personal, family, international, national, local or football. I have to say that I would much rather look forward than back but there are years that are special to me as there are years that are special in most people’s lives. In life I have to count 1978 and 1983 as special beyond all and in football 1953 and 1966; 1990 was decent too but just a bit short of special; to be special has to really stand out above all.
So what was special in the year just gone then, in football terms I mean. Not a lot perhaps with no major international competitions to savour, 2014 maybe, looking forward; we shall see. Anyway, bbc sport on the web to the rescue. This news broke in the build up to the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards for 2013.
Former Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson will be given a special BBC Sports Personality Diamond Award, to mark his retirement from football management in 2013, during the show’s 60th anniversary edition on Sunday December 15th and indeed it was so. Sir Alex was to be the “Special One” after all. Like him or otherwise, special or not you cannot deny him his record. The Scot, 71, retired in May after 26 years as manager at Old Trafford. Sir Alex won 38 trophies during his time at the club, including 13 league titles, two Champions League crowns, five FA Cups and four League Cups. Remember, he did alright at Aberdeen too. Come on, not bad really. Special? Yes I think so.
Barbara Slater, director of BBC Sport, said: “Sir Alex’s achievements are unique.”
“We want to honour and recognise this by celebrating his final incredible year as a manager with this special award.”
Ferguson was presented with the trophy during a programme broadcast live from Leeds. Good choice of venue then, alright Leeds fans?
He stood down after helping United secure the 2012-13 Premier League title, with fellow Scot David Moyes taking over. Give him time guys, Sir Alex did not start that well at Old Trafford after all.
Barbara added: “Sir Alex Ferguson won the Sports Personality Lifetime Achievement award in 2001 after claiming some of the most sought-after trophies in the football world.
“The fact that his success continued for a further decade and more afterwards makes his achievements all the more remarkable. He is someone who has earned the respect of so many both in and outside of football, regardless of their footballing allegiances.”
Ferguson’s 13th league title at United was the latest chapter in a career which had earlier seen him lead Aberdeen to unprecedented success, including victory in the European Cup Winners’ Cup.
He retired after more than 1,500 matches in charge at Old Trafford, 14 years after the unique 1999 Treble of Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League wins, and remains at the club as a director.
In addition to all the silverware, he is credited with developing the careers of famous talents, such as David Beckham, Cristiano Ronaldo, Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs.
Sir Alex will remember 2013 as a special year. He said this after the 2-1 home win against Swansea City, his last game in charge.
“My retirement doesn’t mean the end of my life with the club. I’ll be able to now enjoy watching them rather than suffer with them.”
Don’t you believe it Alex. You’re now a Director and a Fan too; believe you me, you will suffer just the same, oh yes you will!
For the record:
Premier League: 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2013.
FA Cup: 1990, 1994, 1996, 1999, 2004
League Cup: 1992, 2006, 2009, 2010
Champions League: 1999, 2008
Cup Winners Cup: 1991
Fifa Club World Cup: 2008
Uefa Super Cup: 1992
Inter-Continental Cup: 1999
FA Charity/Community Shield: 1990 (shared), 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997, 2003, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011
I hope you can remember special years too and that you have special years yet to come. I really hope and pray that we will enjoy special years together at our football club. We may not be Manchester United but this is Bristol and we are Bristol Rovers. What’s so special about that then? Well nothing really except that’s us, nobody else, blue and white quarters, us, only us, together, us, and that’s special.