Scottish Football Players in England

Scottish Football Players in England

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Preston North End was established as a football club in 1878. Major William Sudell, the manager of a local factory, became the secretary of the club. Sudell decided to improve the quality of the team by importing top players from other areas. This included several players from Scotland. Over the next few years players such as John Goodall, Jimmy Ross, Nick Ross, David Russell, John Gordon, John Graham, Robert Mills-Roberts, James Trainer, Samuel Thompson and George Drummond joined the club. As well as paying them money for playing for the team, Sudell also found them highly paid work in Preston.

In an attempt to stop this migration of players, the Scottish Football Association made it clear that it would not select players for the Scotland international side who played in England. This action failed to stop footballers moving south.

Blackburn Rovers followed the example of Preston North End. would have to persuade some better players to join the club. In 1880 the club signed Hugh McIntyre from Glasgow Rangers. McIntyre was attracted to the town by his appointment to run the Castle Inn. Another footballer who had learnt his trade in Scotland, Fergie Suter, who had been playing for rivals Darwen, also joined Blackburn. This enraged Darwen who accused Blackburn of paying Suter for his services. At this time football professionalism was illegal. However, Darwen did not make an official complaint as it was well known that Suter had given up his career as a stonemason as soon as he arrived in Lancashire. McIntyre and Suter had both played their early football in Scotland. So also did their third signing, Jimmy Douglas who had played for Paisley and Renfrew.

Blackburn Rovers played Darwen in a friendly on 27th November 1880. In an attempt to embarrass Blackburn Rovers for recruiting Scottish players, Darwen officials announced that their team would only include men who had been "Darwen born and bred". The score was 1-1 when in the second-half the players began fighting after an incident involving Fergie Suter. The crowd joined in and the referee was forced to abandon the game.

In 1882, Blackburn Rovers became the first provincial team to reach the final of the FA Cup. Their opponents were Old Etonians who had reached the final on five previous occasions. The public school team won 1-0.

In 1883 Blackburn added another Scotsman into the team. John Inglis, a Scottish international, had recently been playing for Glasgow Rangers. That year Blackburn beat Padium (3-0), Staveley (5-0), Upton Park (3-0), and Notts County (1-0) to reach the final of the FA Cup. After Blackburn Rovers beat Notts County the club made an official complaint to the Football Association that John Inglis was a professional player. The FA carried out an investigation into the case discovered that Inglis was working as a mechanic in Glasgow and was not earning a living playing football for Blackburn Rovers.

John Inglis played in the final against Queens Park at outside left. Other Scots in the team included Jimmy Douglas (outside right) Fergie Suter (left-back) and Hugh McIntyre (centre-half). The Scottish club scored the first goal but Blackburn Rovers won the game with goals from James Forrest and Joe Sowerbutts. Blackburn also went on to win the FA Cup in 1885 and 1886.

The first season of the Football League began in September, 1888. Preston North End won the first championship that year without losing a single match and acquired the name the "Invincibles". Eighteen wins and four draws gave them a 11 point lead at the top of the table.

Preston North End also beat Wolverhampton Wanderers 3-0 to win the 1889 FA Cup Final. Preston won the competition without conceding a single goal. The heart of the team was made up of players recruited from Scotland, Jimmy Ross, Nick Ross, David Russell, John Gordon, and George Drummond. Preston also won the Football League the following season.

Blackburn Rovers and Preston North End had both shown that success could be achieved by buying players from Scotland. Other football clubs in England also developed a policy of sending their scouts to Scotland and over the next few years there was an exodus of the country's best footballers.

Scotland national football team

The Scotland national football team (Scottish Gaelic: Sgioba Ball-coise Nàiseanta na h-Alba) represents Scotland in men's international football and is controlled by the Scottish Football Association. It competes in the three major professional tournaments: the FIFA World Cup, UEFA Nations League and the UEFA European Championship. Scotland, as a country of the United Kingdom, is not a member of the International Olympic Committee, and therefore the national team does not compete in the Olympic Games. The majority of Scotland's home matches are played at the national stadium, Hampden Park.

Scotland is the joint oldest national football team in the world, alongside England, whom they played in the world's first international football match in 1872. Scotland has a long-standing rivalry with England, [5] whom they played annually from 1872 until 1989. The teams have met only eight times since then, most recently in a group match during Euro 2020 in June 2021.

Scotland have qualified for the FIFA World Cup on eight occasions, and the UEFA European Championship three times, but have never progressed beyond the first group stage of a finals tournament. [6] The team have achieved some noteworthy results, such as beating the 1966 FIFA World Cup winners England 3–2 at Wembley Stadium in 1967. Archie Gemmill scored what has been described as one of the greatest World Cup goals ever in a 3–2 win during the 1978 World Cup against the Netherlands, who reached the final of the tournament. [7] In their qualifying group for UEFA Euro 2008, Scotland defeated 2006 World Cup runners-up France 1–0 in both fixtures.

Scotland supporters are collectively known as the Tartan Army. The Scottish Football Association operates a roll of honour for every player who has made more than 50 appearances for Scotland. [8] Kenny Dalglish holds the record for Scotland appearances, having played 102 times between 1971 and 1986. [8] Dalglish scored 30 goals for Scotland and shares the record for most goals scored with Denis Law.

Denis Law holds the accolade for being the only Scottish player ever to win the coveted European Footballer of the Year award.

The former Manchester United striker scored 237 goals in 409 appearances for the Red Devils. Also, he was nicknamed "The King" by supporters and was then given the European award in 1964.

Law is Scotland's international highest goalscorer of all-time with 30 goals, and is also the second-highest goalscorer in the history of Manchester United behind Bobby Charlton.


Early history – one of the first national teams

The national team of England was formed at the same time as Scotland's, and that makes it one of the two oldest national football team. They played their first matches against each other already in 1870 and are therefore absorbed in the early modern history of the game. The very first game between the two nations was played on March 5, 1870, and the ground was The Oval in London. Quite symbolic, the match ended with a draw, 1-1.

Before the rest of the world had incorporated football, England together with the other British nations contested each other in the annual British Home Championship. After being runners-up to Scotland in the four first editions, England would win the tournament for the first time in 1888. The British Home Championship would exist for a hundred years and England would be the most successful team with 54 wins (some years the win was shared with other teams with the same points, goal difference did not count).

England national team in 1893 at Richmond.

England would be successful in the football tournaments that was played in the Olympic Games in the beginning of the century. At the 1900 London Summer Olympics, football was included for the first time. and the British national teams were represented as Great Britain. They won the tournament, but only two other nations – France and Belgium – would partake.

After being absent in the 1904 Summer Olympics, Great Britain would again win the gold medal in the 1908 Summer Olympics. Only five nations did partake. They would continue their domination in the Olympic football tournaments until 1920, when Norway would defeat the British team – which had only amateur players on the field – in the first round.

The loss to a national team which included professional players would start a dispute between FA and FIFA. FA wanted to keep professionals outside the Olympic football tournament, whereas FIFA had other plans. As an effect, Great Britain would withdraw from the next two Olympic football tournaments.

The Great Britain national team would return to the Olympics in the 1936, where they were eliminated in the second round against Poland. But the invention of the World Cup had changed the map: the Olympic football tournament would no longer be the foremost settlement of which the best national team were competing.

England's World Cup history – one great success and a streak of failures

England did join FIFA in 1906, but as the inventor of the sport, England didn&rsquot see any clear reason to subordination and in 1928 they left the organization. It meant that England wouldn't take part in the first World Cup, which was arranged in Uruguay in 1930.

England would not participate in the World Cup until 1950 after rejoining FIFA in 1946. England, as the inventor of the sport and once the superior force, would finally compete in the most prestigious international tournament. The outcome would be a great fiasco. England won their first match against Chile, but would when lose against United States and Spain. They were out already in the group phase and the defeat against United States was perhaps the biggest humiliation.

Three years later, another chock would hit English football. England had up to this time been defeated only once on home ground (to Republic of Ireland in 1949). Now, they would face a hard contender, Hungary that was reigning Olympic champions and undefeated the last three years. The match was labeled the Match of the Century and would be played at Wembley (the stadium had opened in the spring of 1923, at that time called Empire Stadium, and would become the first national stadium in the country). The duel would not be that epic, however, England would be clearly outperformed, losing 3 to 6.

In the following World Cup, England would be eliminated in the quarter-finals by Uruguay. Uruguay would after losing their semi-final also losing the bronze to Austria.

After a mediocre performance four years later when the tournament was held in Sweden, England didn&rsquot manage to advance from the group phase. And in the 1962 edition of World Cup, England's advancement was stopped in the quarter-finals by a brilliant Brazil.

England had as best reach the quarter-finals in World Cup, but it would be a completely different story when they played on home ground in 1966. The home advantage would be one of the factors that lead to the historical victory.

In the first match against Uruguay, which was goalless, England&rsquos teams didn&rsquot look as the champions. But after that draw they would win their remaining matches. After eliminating Argentina and Portugal, they would clash against West Germany in a classic and dramatic final. After the match had gone to extra time, England could win the match with 4 against 2. Players like Geoff Hurst, Bobby Charlton and Gordon Banks has ever since remained in the finest heritage of English national football.

The win in 1966, would however, not mark the beginning of a golden era for the English national team. Four years later, in Mexico, England would advance from their group after winning two out of three, but when be eliminated in the quarter-finals by the coming runners-up in the tournament, Italy.

When the World Cup returned to Europe and West Germany four years later England would not be in it. In the last match on home ground against Poland, England could have fixed the ticket to the coming World Cup, but they only managed to draw. It was the first time the England team had failed to qualify for a World Cup.

England would miss out the next World Cup as well. This time after being rather unlucky in the qualification: Italy would take the place by goal difference (England was defeated in Rome, but would win in London in the two matches versus the Italians. The rest was a competition of making as many goals as possible against Finland and Luxembourg – Italy did three more).

England would be luckier in the next World Cup qualification and also started promising with three consecutive victories in the first group phase in the final tournament. This particular World Cup had a new setup with a second group phase. Against the opponents West Germany and Spain no goals was scored by either teams. West Germany would, however, beat Spain in the third game and advance to the semi-finals. England was out, even that they hadn&rsquot lost a single match.

Many of us have clear memories what happened in World Cup 1986 on account of the English team. The match versus Argentina in the quarter-finals is still hard to forget: it included one of the most controversial goals in the history and one of the most brilliant. The first was &ldquothe hand of God&rdquo, which the referee missed, and the second was the same man&rsquos dribbling from the other half field and all the way trough England&rsquos goalkeeper Peter Shilton.

The 1990 World Cup in Italy could have been England&rsquos second great triumph in international football. It would, however, end in tears. Neither before nor after 1966 had England advance trough the quarter-finals. In 1990, they did, by beating the surprise team of the tournament, Cameroon. The Cameroon game was dramatic, and the next against West Germany brought even more drama. Unfortunately for England, the match was decided on a penalty shootout, one area of the game in which the English national team have shown to be inferior. Instead of the final, England would play, and lose, the Third place match against Italy.

England would miss the qualification for the 1994 World Cup, but in the next edition of the tournament held in France they would be back in the heat after a great performance in UEFA European Championship. Everything seemed not in perfect order though. Paul Gascoigne, the hero from World Cup 1990 and Euro 1996 was out due to overweight. Tim Sheringham, another star in the squad, was criticized after being seen on a nightclub during the tournament. Two younger players would instead redeem England&rsquos fans: The first, Michael Owen, was only a substitute the first two matches. He got only five minutes in the first match and nine in the second, which was enough to do England&rsquos only goal against Romania. In the third group match he started. But it was in the quarter-final against Argentina that he really presented himself as a wonder boy after a solo raid resulting in 1-0 and after that being a dangerous threat to the opponents.

The second young player was David Beckham. He scored on a free kick against Colombia in the last group match. But in the end, he would become the scapegoat after a rash reaction against Diego Simeone in the round of 16, which reduced England to ten men for the most of the game. It would be the last act for England, after another pitiful penalty shootout.

In 2002, when the tournament was held in Asia for the first time, England arrived as usual with high expectations. The team advanced from the group, when won in impressive style over Denmark in the first playoff round, but was unlucky to face Brazil in the next match, which would defeat England on their way to be the champions.

The tradition for the English team was held in the next World Cup: they were once again eliminated in the quarter-finals, and once again after losing a penalty shoot-out. In the following World Cup, in South Africa, England was eliminated in the first playoff round, outperformed by Germany which won 4 to 1.

England was placed in Group D together with Costa Rica, Italy and Uruguay in the 2014 World Cup. They managed only to collect one point, in the match against Costa Rica and got an early trip back to Great Britain.

Many have speculated about the reasons that a great traditional football nation as England haven&rsquot won the FIFA World Cup or the UEFA European Championship since 1966 (it should be noticed that England decline the invitation to participate in the three first editions of the World Cup and the first edition of UEFA European Championship).

In the book Soccernomics, the writers Simon Kuper and Stefan Szymanski claim that the most heard arguments – including that England perform bad due too many foreign players in their own league – are wrong. According to their calculations, there are 32 % English players in the Premier league, and that is more domestic players than in many other of the big European leagues. They focus on two primary reasons why England doesn&rsquot succeed very well in the big tournaments. The first is that there are too few English players in the other big Europeans leagues except Premier League. The second is that there are too many matches in English club football making the players tired when the time come for international tournaments. Another interesting aspect from the analyze that supports the second point is the fact that England has seldom scored in the second half in World Cup (only six of the team's forty-three goals have come in the second half in their seven big tournaments played after 1998). Simon Kuper and Stefan Szymanski asserts that the players have been worn out.

The England national team has had mostly English coaches, except two non-British: Sven Goran Eriksson and Fabio Capello. As the writers of Soccernomics concludes, the statistic shows that a higher frequency of winning games plus of qualifications for tournaments was made when a foreign manager was coaching (the figures are base on the period 1990-2011).

England playing against Estland at Wembley in 2007.

FIFA World Cup results

England has participated 14 times in the World Cup (FIFA World Cup qualification not included).

Table 1. England's performances in the World Cup
Year Result Notes
2018 Semi-finals
2014 Group Stage
2010 Round of 16
2006 Quarter-finals
2002 Quarter-finals
1998 Round of 16
1994 Not qualified
1990 4th place
1986 Quarter-finals
1982 Round 2
1978 Not qualified
1974 Not qualified
1970 Quarter-finals
1966* Winners 1st tournament title
1962 Quarter-finals
1958 Group Stage
1954 Quarter-finals
1950 Group Stage
1938 Decline to participate
1934 Decline to participate
1930 Decline to participate

UEFA European Championship results

England have participated 9 times in the European Championship (Euro).

Table 2. England's performances in the European Championship
Year Result Notes
2016 Round of 16
2012 Quarter-finals
2008 Not qualified
2004 Quarter-finals
2000 Group Stage
1996* Semi-finals
1992 Group Stage
1988 Group Stage
1984 Not qualified
1980 Group Stage
1976 Not qualified
1972 Not qualified
1968 3rd place
1964 Not qualified
1960 Decline to participate

The three lions, stacked vertically, dominate the shield in the logo. The shield is the Royal Arms of England, a symbol that has existed since the Middle Ages.

The National Side

The theory that foreign imports have damaged the national side&rsquos chances at major tournaments isn&rsquot disproved by the fact that English clubs have made it the finals of the Champions League with English players in them. In fact, for critics of the number of non-English players in the top-flight it&rsquos a sign that the domestic game has been strengthened at the same time that the national one has been weakened.

The number of English players making a living playing football in the top-flight has diminished year on year since the invention of the Premier League, that much is true. In the 1992-1992 season there were 69 English players in the division. By 2005-2006 that had dropped to 39. It has bumped around between the 30 and 40 mark since then, dropping to as low as 31 in the 2015-2016 season.

Obviously England haven&rsquot won a major tournament since 1966, but winning tournaments isn&rsquot the complete sign of how well a team is doing. The largest number of English players in the top-flight in recent years was in 1993, so how did the England national team around that time?

In 1990 they made it to the semi-finals of the World Cup, whilst in 1994 they didn&rsquot even qualify for the same competition. Their best performance in recent times came in both 2002 and 2006 when they reached the quarter-finals of the competition when it was held in Korea & Japan and Germany respectively.

When it comes to the European Championships things aren&rsquot all that dissimilar. The country&rsquos best performance came when England hosted the competition in 1996 and they made it to the semi-finals. In 1992, however, they failed to make it out of the group stage. They also failed to make it out of the group in 2000. In 2008 they didn&rsquot qualify, but in 2004 and 2012 they made it the quarter-finals.

Again, none of that is conclusive but it does seem to be the case that there&rsquos no obvious correlation between the number of non-English players in the league and the performance of the England side in national tournaments. Perhaps critics should instead look at why the Football Association appoint managers such as Roy Hodgson and Sam Allardyce, who have career win ratios of under 40%, and expect them to be able to out-perform their own numbers.

It might come as a surprise to see him rank so high on the list but Fletcher's stats speak for themselves, with 53 goals in 189 appearances for Wolves, Sunderland and Burnley in the top flight.

He's perhaps one that history will remember better than fans of any specific club, while Scotland fans are also admittedly guilty of overlooking the man who has netted ten goals in 33 international appearances - comfortably the best strike-rate of any front-man in the barren modern era.

Historical Football Kits

In 1867 Queen's Park FC was formed, the first association football club in Scotland. By playing exhibition matches throughout the country, Queen's Park were responsible for popularising what would become Scotland's national sport. In 1872 the club organised what is now recognised as the first international football match against England. The Scottish Football Association was formed the following year. Although Scotland wore navy blue jerseys in that first game it took some time before these became the regular first choice and a number of other combinations were tried before the First World War.

    • Glen Isherwood
    • empics
    • Simon Monks
    • John Small
    • Clive Nicholson
    • Chris Worrall
    • History of Queen's Park FC 1867-1917 (Richard Robinson 1920)
    • Darren Foss
    • Keith Ellis



    On 5 March 1872 the world's first international association football match was played at Hamilton Crescent in Partick, Glasgow, home of the West of Scotland Cricket Club. The Scottish selectors (Queen's Park's goalkeeper and captain) had hoped to include Lord Kinnaird (The Wanderers) and Henry Renny-Taylour (Royal Engineers) but neither was available so it was effectively the Queen's Park first team that turned out for Scotland while the English team comprised players from nine different teams. The Scottish players wore their navy blue club shirts with the addition of a lion rampant crest club socks and red cowls. Some time later players wore distinctive stockings and in 1876 the SFA issued a card to spectators so they could identify them. (The heather coloured socks shown above were sported by TC Highet of Queen's Park.)

    According to the Glasgow Herald (March 3 1873) the lion rampant crest was white in 1873 but the Sheffield Independent (March 8 1875) records the badge as being red. It is unclear what colour the lion was after that at least until 1881. It is also unclear when the red cowls were dropped although they are absent in an engraving of the 1879 team.

    Navy and white would eventually become Scotland's established colours but not before other combinations were tried. In 1881 the team turned out in the primrose yellow and rose pink racing colours of Archibald Primrose, the 5th Earl of Rosebery, an important Scottish Liberal peer and devotee of the turf who became one of the Scottish FA's early patrons. The following year the team played England in March wearing the blue and white hoops of rugby team Edinburgh Academicals with the addition of a gold lion rampant crest. However, they wore red and white jerseys against Wales at Hampden later that month.

    Navy tops were restored in 1883, when the British Home Championship was inaugurated.

    The SFA supplied the team shirts but players provided their own knickers and hose: although white knickers were the norm, some players turned out in black or navy until at least 1892.

    The lion crest was replaced between 1893 (possibly earlier) and 1898 with a thistle, a motif usually associated with Scottish rugby.

    In 2002 a shirt in Lord Roseberry's colours was sold at auction by Bonhams. Worn by Nick Smith, it was worn in a match against Ireland in 1899, 1900 or 1901 and may be a change shirt.

    When did Scotland last beat England?

    A 1-0 victory at Wembley on November 17, 1999 was the date of Scotland's last victory against England in football.

    It was the second leg of a Euro 2000 qualifying play-off and Don Hutchison scored the winning goal.

    Unfortunately for Scotland, however, it was not enough to secure passage to Euro 2000, as England had won 2-0 in the first leg at Hampden Park.

    Paul Scholes scored both goals for the Three Lions on that occasion, setting Kevin Keegan's side up well for the second leg. Indeed, despite losing at Wembley, they progressed with a 2-1 aggregate score.

    Scotland have failed to defeat England in their four subsequent matches prior to their Euro 2020 meeting, losing three and drawing once.

    Scottish Football Players in England - History

    Saturday , 6 March 1875
    Association Friendly Match

    England 2 Scotland 2
    The teams changed ends after each goal

    The match which is looked forward to with the greatest interest among the lovers of the dribbling game is undoubtedly that between England and Scotland. For some time past trial matches have taken place both north and south of the Tweed with a view of selecting the best possible players. Saturday was the day appointed for the meeting, and Kennington-oval the rendezvous. The heavy rain which fell in the early part of the day rendered the ground very slippery, and throughout the match falls were frequent, the players representing a rather sorry appearance at the end of an hour and a half's play. The attendance was very large, and the enjoyment of the game rather intense, judging from the shouting. Play began at 3.30, when Scotland, who had lost the toss, kicked off from the gasworks goal. The ball was quickly dribbled to the centre of the ground, where for a few minutes it was kept, when the English, aided by the wind, made a rush at their opponents' goal, and the ball was forced over the line. Scotland then restarted it, and, their forwards being very swift, they managed to elude the vigilance of their opponents, and in turn kicked the ball over the English goal line. Two or three good attacks were now made by the visitors, but these were well turned by Haygarth, whose defensive play throughout was excellent. Hubert Heron now showed some fine dribbling, taking the ball from the lower side of the ground to within a few yards of the Scotch goal one of the latter's backs, however, managed to return it to the centre of the ground. It was once more taken towards the Scotch goal almost immediately after this, and one of the visitors incautiously violated the rule which forbids handling. The free-kick was very judiciously made by Birley, and Bonsor, being conveniently posted in front of the Scotch goal, kicked the ball under the tape. Ends were changed, and with the wind in their favour, the Scotch made numerous runs into their opponents' territory, and within 10 minutes three of their forwards conducted the ball along the upper side of the ground to within three or four yards of the English goal, when Mr. Neill kicked it between the posts. Matters having thus been equalised, the sides once more crossed over, and some of the best play of the match was now shown. Von Donop made a number of brilliant runs, as did Geaves and Hubert Heron, but for some considerable time these were counteracted by their opponents' back-play, while the Scotch forwards also took the ball several times dangerously near the English goal. At length it became evident that the Southerners were getting a little the best of the fight, and at 25 minutes past four a second goal was placed to their credit. A corner kick had fallen to the lot of the English, and the ball was breasted through by Alcock. For a third time positions were reversed, and having the wind again at their backs, the Scotch were not long before they took the ball into English quarters, and in less than 10 minutes a second goal was kicked for them also. The score was thus brought level, and for the remaining part of the time either side made strenuous efforts to effect the downfall of the other's fortress, but all proved futile, and when "Time" was called at 10 minutes to five the match was declared drawn, each side having kicked two goals.

    At the same ground, on the day before the international, the Royal Engineers defeated the holders, Oxford University, 1-0, after extra time, in the F.A. Cup semi-final replay, to reach their third final in the four years of the fledgling competition. Scottish international, Captain Henry Renny-Tailyour scored the goal. The following week's final, also at the Oval, also went to a replay, before the Engineers lifted the trophy for the first and only time.

    The Football Association Yearbook
    original newspaper report
    Douglas Lamming's A Century of English International Football 1872-1972 & 1872-1988
    Douglas Lamming's A Scottish Internationalists' Who's Who 1872-1986
    Cris Freddi's England Football Factbook
    Nick Gibbs England: The Football Facts

    Alex Ferguson

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    Alex Ferguson, in full Sir Alexander Chapman Ferguson, byname Fergie, (born December 31, 1941, Glasgow, Scotland), Scottish football (soccer) player and manager who was best known for managing Manchester United (1986–2013). Ferguson was the longest-tenured manager in “Man U” history and led the club to more than 30 domestic and international titles, including 13 Premier League championships, five Football Association (FA) Cup victories (1990, 1994, 1996, 1999, and 2004), and two Champions League titles (1999 and 2008).

    At age 16 Ferguson joined the Scottish second-division football club Queen’s Park, playing as an amateur while also working in a Glasgow shipyard. His professional football career began in 1964, when he signed with first-division Dunfermline Athletic. Ferguson tied for the league lead in scoring by tallying 31 goals during the 1965–66 Scottish League season, and in 1967 he was transferred to his hometown Rangers for a then-record £65,000 fee. He was a solid if unspectacular player in two seasons with the Rangers and played for two other clubs before retiring in 1974.

    Ferguson’s first managerial stint came shortly after he played his final match, when in the summer of 1974 he was hired to lead the Scottish second-division side East Stirlingshire. Just months later he moved to St. Mirren, which he would lead to a league championship in 1976–77. In 1978 he became the manager of Aberdeen FC. Under Ferguson’s guidance, Aberdeen experienced the greatest period of success in club history, winning three Scottish Premier Division (the country’s top league) titles (1979–80, 1983–84, and 1984–85), four Scottish Cups (1982, 1983, 1984, and 1986), and a European Cup Winners’ Cup (1983). Ferguson’s unprecedented achievements at Aberdeen led to managerial offers from some of the most prestigious clubs in Europe over the years, and he signed with Manchester in November 1986.

    Man U was initially inconsistent under Ferguson’s guidance, finishing in 11th, 2nd, 11th, and 13th place in the first division of the Football League during his first four seasons with the club. He was widely reported to have been in danger of losing his job before Manchester salvaged the 1989–90 season by winning the FA Cup. That victory marked the beginning of the most successful managerial run in English football history, as Man U won eight Premier League (the successor to the first division) championships in the 11 seasons from 1992–93 to 2002–03, capturing three FA Cup titles as well. The highlight of this period came during the 1998–99 season, when—in addition to taking that season’s league championship and FA Cup—Manchester won the Champions League title to earn the first “treble” (victories in the domestic top-division league, a domestic cup, and a continental championship) in English football history. After going three years without a league championship, United won five Premier League titles in a seven-season span from 2006–07 to 2012–13, with a second Champions League win in 2008. Ferguson retired at the end of the 2012–13 Premier League season but stayed on with Man U in a front-office role and as a club ambassador.

    Ferguson was named the Premier League Manager of the Year on 11 occasions. He released volumes of autobiography in 1999 and 2013. He was made Commander of the British Empire (CBE) in 1995 and was knighted in 1999.

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