The Emperor of Old Trafford… Ferguson's used to silverware but here he is immortalised in bronze. And even Manchester United's fiercest critics have to admit his 9ft statue is impressive
15:39 GMT, 23 November 2012
The statue of Sir Alex Ferguson has been unveiled in a ceremony to honour the Manchester United manager outside their Old Trafford home.
The nine-foot bronze statue was unveiled by Sir Alex's wife Lady Cathy Ferguson. 'He's scared of her,' said the club's chief executive David Gill.
'Normally people die before they see their statue,' said Ferguson. 'I'm outliving death.' The 70-year-old added: 'This is a really proud moment.'
New: Lady Cathy Ferguson unveiled the bronze statue of her husband Sir Alex at Old Trafford, and (below) the words on the plaque
There you go! Fergie looks on with delight as the covers come off his giant statue outside Old Trafford
Pointing the way: Fergie gives his verdict to the crowd gathered at Old Trafford alongside his wife Cathy
Regarding his wife, Ferguson said:
'Someone has to control me and she is the only one who can. Every
Saturday morning she's said she will come down and bow to the statue.'
The United manager is the centre of attention as the club celebrate his 26 years in charge.
Cantona and Ruud van Nistelrooy were among the most notable guests
at the unveiling of a statue in honour of Ferguson. United commissioned award-winning
sculptor Philip Jackson to create the statue which has been placed outside the stand that already bears Ferguson's name.
Standing tall: The statue of Ferguson has a prime spot outside the stands named after the manager
Immortalised: The statue up close outside Old Trafford dedicated to the manager
FIFA president Sepp Blatter and former United players Cristiano Ronaldo and David Beckham were among those not present at the unveiling who sent a pre-recorded message.
'He is unique because he has put a high standard to his club his players and also to himself,' Blatter said. 'I was so happy that I had the opportunity to bestow him with the FIFA President's award and he was happy to receive it. I am proud and I wish him well in the future to him and his family and the club Manchester United. Thank you, Sir Alex.'
Video message: David Beckham spoke ahead of the presentation with Ferguson (right) and former United players Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Eric Cantona (below)
Ronaldo added: 'You 100 per cent deserve this with what you have done. I wish to be there with you but my schedule is busy with games as you know. I hope to see you soon because I need to practice my English and not my Scottish. Thanks boss. All the best to you.'
Beckham added: 'Sorry I can't be there for this amazing day. My time at Manchester United was without doubt the best of my career and I cherish those moments.'
Ferguson's whopping trophy haul is this – 12 Premier League trophies, two Champions League trophies, five FA Cups and four League Cups. It is a dramatic reminder of his unrivalled success at United as he enters the finals years of his reign.
Side view: Eric Cantona and Ruud van Nistelrooy were among the most notable guests at the unveiling of a statue in honour of Ferguson
In support: United supporters braved the inclement weather at Old Trafford to see the new statue of Ferguson
Almost ready: The Sir Alex Ferguson statue was lowered into place on Thursday outside Manchester United's Old Trafford stadium
His longevity at Old Trafford is encapsulated by the guests who were in attendance.
In addition to Cantona, who signed for United almost 20 years ago in probably the most astute transfer of Ferguson's 26-year reign, and Van Nistelrooy, who scored 150 goals in five seasons but has never been back to the club since he was sensationally jettisoned in 2006, Ferguson's first captain, Bryan Robson, was there, plus Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who scored that famous injury-time match-winner in the 1999 Champions League final.
United's entire first-team squad were also be present, as was England coach and long-time Red Devil Gary Neville.
Fergie 37… The Rest 31: How he squares up against his current Premier League rivals…
Arsene Wenger 11… Premier League (3), FA Cup (4), Community Shield (4)
Martin O’Neill 5… League Cup (2), FA Trophy (2), Football Conference (1)
Rafa Benitez 4… Champions League (1), FA Cup (1), UEFA Super Cup (1), Community Shield (1)
Roberto Mancini 3… Premier League (1), FA Cup (1), Community Shield (1)
Chris Hughton 1 (Championship)
Brian McDermott 1 (Championship)
Nigel Adkins 1 (League One)
Paul Lambert 1 (League One)
Roberto Martinez 1 (League One)
David Moyes 1 (Second Division)
Sam Allardyce 1 (Third Division)
Alan Pardew 1 (Football League Trophy)
0 Martin Jol, Brendan Rodgers, Mark Hughes, Tony Pulis, Michael Laudrup, Andre Villas-Boas, Steve Clarke
Sir Alex Ferguson, pictured below with Eric Cantona in 1996, has won 37 trophies – Premier League (12), Champions League (2), FA Cup (5), League Cup (4), Community Shield (10), UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup (1), UEFA Super Cup (1), Intercontinental Cup (1), FIFA Club World Cup (1)