TThe life story of soccer coach Alex Ferguson is so moving that any movie about him more or less has to be a hit. And so he demonstrates in this heartfelt documentary – something like an authorized cinematic biography directed by his son Jason. Here was the young dynamic socialist from Glasgow, who led a shipyard apprentice strike at Clydeside in 1961, then turned to football, scored an unprecedented hat-trick for St Johnstone against Rangers at Ibrox, ended up playing for Rangers , then managing Aberdeen, then in 1986 he was appointed Manchester United manager and, after a difficult start, led him to absolute glory.
This film is structured in the old-school Hollywood style around Ferguson’s dramatic and near-fatal brain hemorrhage in 2018, from which the story is told in flashbacks. The man himself is interviewed extensively, his voice perhaps a little slower and softer, but mentally completely alert. We are offered an intriguing “Rosebud” theory for the rage and passion that drove him. Ferguson grew up Protestant and his wife Cathy was Catholic; and as a player joined the famous Protestant Rangers FC of Glasgow, one of the directors sternly asked Ferguson if he had married in the chapel. Tame for the first time in his life, Ferguson replied that he was in a registry office, rather than telling him to mind his own business. The Rangers bigwig declared himself satisfied.
But in that bleak sectarian atmosphere, an unpleasant atmosphere lingered around the question of loyalty, and Ferguson clearly never forgot the angry humiliation of appearing guilty of Rangers’ loss to Celtic in the 1969 Scottish Cup final. His anger resurfaces to almost Brian Clough’s levels as Aberdeen coach, when his team won what he saw as an undeserved victory in the 1983 Scottish Cup final against a below-average Rangers, and left ripping with a strange live TV band line ranting against their own. side at the moment of victory.
Some of the most interesting questions are unanswered and unanswered: In the ’90s, he was a supporter of Tony Blair (who naturally admired Ferguson’s managerial wizardry). What does Ferguson think of Labor and Socialism now? You might think that soccer, a sport in which working-class men can achieve colossal success, is socialism in action. Interestingly, despite that knighthood of being front and center of the title, we don’t know how it felt to go to Buckingham Palace. And of course, this movie was made before the ESL debacle, although the latter part of his tenure coincided with Glazer’s ownership. What the hell does Sir Alex make of all that, tactfully, it remains a mystery. With a less exciting theme, this could have been a bit of a club souvenir. As it is, it can’t help but be passionate.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism