English Premiership

Souness recalls Fergie jousts

2013-05-09 19:00
Alex Ferguson and Graeme Souness (Getty Images)
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London - As plaudits and tributes flood in for retiring Manchester United manager, Alex Ferguson, one of his compatriots recalls the heady days at the beginning of his rise to glory.

The Sky Sports website reports that former Liverpool great, Graeme Souness, says Sir Alex Ferguson has not only left an indelible mark on United, but also across British football.

"What a legacy. He is handing over a club that from the outside looking in seems to have every single part of the club run properly," Souness said.

"He is Mr Manchester United - there was Bobby Charlton before him but I would say that he has even surpassed him as Mr MU because he has been so associated with the success and grown the club into one of the giants of the modern game.”

Souness played under Ferguson when the latter was manager of the Scottish national team between 1985 and 1986.

"I worked under him when he took over from Jock Stein and I was the captain of Scotland. He had not moved down to England yet but he was asking me and other lads who had moved what it was like.”
 
After Souness ended his playing career with Glasgow Rangers in 1991, he took the manager’s job at Liverpool, where he first crossed swords with Ferguson as an equal. He says that at the time, those in charge at the then dominant club already sensed what was to become the trend for the next 20 years.

"When I first got the Liverpool job, Peter Robinson was the CEO and regarded as the best around. He said to me that that their big fear is that if 'that lot' down the East Lancs. Road ever get their act together - that is exactly what they did under Ferguson"

Souness fondly recalls one of the very few times he triumphed over the wily 71-year-old.

"If it was not going his way then it was horrible coming up against him. To be fair to him I was at Southampton when we beat them - Roy Keane got sent off early and I think we beat them 5-2.

"He came up and had a beer and it was choking him to have this beer. He blamed the grey shirts that day. He was drinking the beer, but was not tasting it."

HAVE YOUR SAY: With Fergie set to retire at the end of the season, who do you think was his most worthy adversary over the years? Send your thoughts to Sport24.

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