A “proud” Sir Alex Ferguson declared his achievements with Aberdeen as “almost a miracle” as he unveiled a statue in his honour at Pittodrie.
Ferguson was joined by a number of his former Dons players as the club showed off the bronze statue, which will be located outside the Richard Donald Stand and was created by Andy Edwards of Cornovii Edwards.
The sculpture was based on a photograph taken of Sir Alex at Easter Road in 1980 after a 5-0 win over Hibernian clinched the Scottish title, the first time in 15 years a club outside of Celtic and Rangers had won the championship.
Ferguson went on to win three titles in all plus four Scottish Cups, one League Cup, the European Cup Winners’ Cup and the European Super Cup during his spell in charge from 1978 to 1986.
During the ceremony, the 80-year-old said: “It’s a fantastic honour. You have to reflect on my life in that way because what we achieved here at Aberdeen was almost a miracle.
“When you try to put a light switch together, if you don’t get the wires in the right place it’s not going to work.
“I had the right material. They were all there. All they needed was the direction and desire and they showed that eventually. It was an absolutely brilliant period for me.
“My first year was hard for me. My father had cancer and I decided to do a stupid thing and go to a tribunal with St Mirren. These were learning lessons.
“Once I got that year over I knew where I was going, because I had the materials.
“The thing about human beings, some people want to go to the moon for their holidays and some want to go to the local park. These boys wanted to go to the moon.
“They had the desire to be better and better and that gave me the incentive to work with them and let them understand that, look, other clubs want to win trophies, you have to want to win it more than them. The desire to win more than others is what will get you there.
“That was a fantastic period for me. I am so proud of the eight-and-a-half years here. And there was only one way I could have left Aberdeen and that was for Manchester United.
“But the statue is here and I am so proud.”
Ferguson’s Aberdeen captain Willie Miller was joined by Gordon Strachan and Neil Simpson in reminiscing on stage about their playing days under the former East Stirlingshire, St Mirren and Scotland boss.
Simpson said: “This is a fantastic tribute for the greatest manager that’s ever been.
“Myself and all the players that played under him owe him a big gratitude for giving us opportunities, seeing things and the professionalism and the real desire to win, which is all you want to do in football. Nobody is interested in losers.
“It really is just a huge privilege to be part of what, under Sir Alex, Aberdeen did.”