Manchester United legend Sir Alex Ferguson has been inducted into the Premier League Hall of Fame, joining Arsenal icon Arsene Wenger as the first managers to be enrolled into the elite club.
Sir Alex is considered to be the Premier League’s greatest-ever manager, having lifted a record 13 titles during his 26-year tenure which included three consecutive wins on two separate occasions.
He holds the record for the most wins as a manager having come out victorious on 810 occasions and also oversaw the most goals, witnessing 1,627. The Scot ended his reign with a 65.2 per cent win record.
The great man retired in 2013 but has been an ever-present at Old Trafford and was invited into the dressing room to celebrate United’s Carabao Cup win at Wembley last month. The Premier League Hall of Fame was established in 2021 to recognise those who excelled as icons in the competition since its inception in 1992.
A total of 16 players have been inducted so far, including United heroes Wayne Rooney, Paul Scholes, David Beckham, Roy Keane and Eric Cantona. Sir Alex now joins them as one of two managers to be bestowed the honour.
Speaking upon his induction, Sir Alex said: “I’m truly delighted to be inducted into the Premier League Hall of Fame. It’s an honour when you receive recognition like this.
“However, it’s not just about me as a person. It’s about the job at Manchester United and the bond we had over many years, so I’m also proud for the club, the staff and my players.
“My job was to send the fans home happy. United’s history and my own expectations were the things that drove me, and I then had to try and develop all my players with the same expectations and make sure we could go out and achieve them.”
Sir Alex gave a classy nod to Wenger, with whom he had battled for many a league title during the fierce rivalry between United and Arsenal in the late 1990s and 2000s. He added: “I feel Arsene is a very worthy inductee as he transformed Arsenal Football Club fantastically.
“They became a tough team to compete with and we both wanted to win, which motivated us further. Through the years since retirement, we’d go for dinner together in a little restaurant he knows well in Switzerland. He is a really interesting man and I enjoy his company, but it is still my job to pick the wine!”
Premier League chief executive Richard Masters added: “We are delighted to welcome our first two managers into the Premier League Hall of Fame. Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger both made remarkable contributions to the history of football in this country.
“The dominance of Manchester United under Sir Alex remains unmatched after he guided them to an incredible 13 titles across 21 Premier League seasons. To maintain that level of success for such a long period means he is quite rightly regarded as one of the greatest managers of all time.
“Arsene was an innovator who was well ahead of his time, bringing numerous changes to Arsenal that would be replicated at other clubs. His teams played some of the best football we have ever witnessed and the Invincibles season is not only one of the greatest accomplishments in English football, but sport in general.”
A shortlist of 15 former players is due to be announced on Thursday with fans invited to vote for their three choices before April 10.