On November 6, 1986, the fate of Manchester United was permanently altered, thanks to the arrival of Alex Ferguson. Thirteen years later, he received a knighthood in the wake of the historic treble he won en route to becoming United’s most successful manager—and if not the greatest of all time, then at the very least an undeniable all-time great of his sport.
But long before that, Sir Alex was “Fergie” or “Alec” to those who knew him well. And in 1986, United’s board made a decision that would change the course of football history.
Outgoing manager Ron Atkinson was well liked by fans, having brought two FA Cups during his time in charge with a vivacious and attacking style that was a tonic after the dour functionality of Dave Sexton.