I’m shattered, I can’t believe it. It was our worst ever day. It’s the worst in my history, ever. Even as a player I don’t think I ever lost 6-1. That’s a challenge for me too
-Sir Alex Ferguson after man united lost 6-1 to man city
Ferguson might have been wrong with his team selection and his tactics for the Manchester derby, but as far as we are concerned his biggest mistake was the above statement he made after the game. As we see below,the 6-1 defeat was certainly not the biggest of his footballing life.
Back in 1960, Sir Alex Ferguson(Just Alex Ferguson back then) was plying his trade for St Johnstone in the Scottish League. Those days Ferguson was a striker at his second club(His first was Queens Park) and was struggling to break into the first team. His first season for the club was a quiet one for him as a player,but it was a good one for the club’s reserve side,as they beat Falkrik to win the Reserves cup.
Fergie playing for St Johnstone
Over the next season,after becoming a professional,Ferguson began to play in the first team. And he did well ,scoring some important goals. There was drama on the final day of the season,as Ferguson’s goal against Dundee was chalked off in a 3-0 defeat which led to St Johnstone’s relegation. Ferguson and his teammates learned after the match that if the game had finished 3-1 they would have been saved by virtue of better goal average.
What Happened Next?
Ferguson’s confidence in playing football was badly shaken and was contemplating on moving to Canada. The two comeback games he played for the reserves did him no good and there was a prospect of facing further humiliation as they had to face Rangers on the 21st of December. Ferguson had made up his mind that he was not going to play against Rangers,so he asked his brother’s girlfriend,Joan Parker to phone his coach and pretend to be his mother and tell him that he had flu.
When his coach came to know of this,he immediately sent a telegram to his house saying, ”call me” . When Ferguson called his coach he was shocked to know that he would be playing in the first team against Rangers as 5 players were out with real flu.
The next day at Ibrox changed Alex Ferguson’s life forever. Trailing 1-0 at half time,the future Manchester United gaffer scored a hat-trick to take St Johnstone to their first ever win at Ibrox. Ferguson incidentally was a Rangers supporter all his life and he was the first player ever to score a hat-trick against Rangers at Ibrox.
At the end of the 1963-64 season Ferguson moved on to Dunfermline.