Football fans! Be prepared to have your heartstrings tugged when you sit down to watch the new Sir Alex Ferguson documentary as his heroic battle with a brain hemorhage and near death experience are explored.
The film is called “Never Give In”. It will discuss the brain hemorrhage that struck the former Man United manager on 5 May 2018. A far cry from the usual growing up in Govan, exploits as Aberdeen manager and that Mark Robins goal that saved his job at Old Trafford. Not to mention the subsequent success that came afterwards.
Ferguson recovered from the operation and explained the fear he had from his near death experience.
“I wondered how many sunny days I would see again. I found that difficult”, he said.
Adding that he felt “helpless”, Ferguson also added that he “would have hated to lose my memory. I would have been a terrible burden on my family”.
Letters sent to Cathy Ferguson
Sir Alex also read one of his many letters he wrote to his family whilst receiving treatment in hospital.
He wrote this to his wife Cathy. The letter itself contains crossings out, which in itself shows the impact this hemorrhage had on his ability to do basic things.
“I am proud of you Cathy and your determination, all your years you have shown great strength but my heart should pray for life, you do not give up. I was weak and lonely, I miss your light”.
“Dad, it’s not working”
There are times during the film that he looks his age, espcially during the early days of his recuperation. The emotion really comes out when he talks about his family. From his anger over his treatment during his Rangers days due to his wife’s religion, to the rocky early years in the United hotseat.
Speaking on the documentary about his Aberdeen team beating Rangers in the 1983 Scottish Cup Final, Ferguson said, “I wanted to put the knife in them”.
The documatary also shows how sport can affect an entire family. Fast forward a few years to his early time at Man United, he recalled receiving phone calls late at night from supporters telling him to go back to “f*****g Scotland”.
“Dad, it is not working, you’re not going to be able to succeed here, it is killing us,”, his eldest son Mark had said to him at one stage.
“I got paranoid, counting magpies, ‘one for sorrow, two for joy’”, his wife Cathy also added.
What followed was unprecedented success of league wins, cup wins and the Champions League on two occasions.
Sir Alex has since returned to the United directors box, following his recovery in the same year. The documentary covers his nervous disposition.
“I’m a bit nervous, not nervous but, you know. Sort of tense maybe”, he said.
When Ferguson retired in 2013, it is fair to say that Manchester United have not quite enjoyed the same levels of success. This documentary depicts the drive and determination along with man managment skills he had as a manager.
It also depicts the frailties and vulnerabilities that he experienced during his illness, just like anybody else would.