When Sir Alex Ferguson Lost by 9 Goals in back to back matches

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

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

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.

The next season the club managed to win promotion and before the start of the new season, St Johnstone recruited lot of new players, so that they don’t spend another season fighting relegation. This was bad news for Ferguson and he was not looking forward to play for the reserves again. His coach Bobby Brown was talking to Doug Cowie, the manager of Raith Rowers regarding Ferguson. But before the deal could proceed any further Ferguson was put out of action by a facial injury. During a reserve game against Airdrie,Ferguson jumped to challenge a ball in the air along with Jackie Stewart. Now, Airdrie had a mean reputation on the football ground and Jackie Stewart certainly took his club’s principles to heart. Next thing Ferguson knew was that he was lying in a hospital with a fracture cheekbone and a broken bone above his eyebrow. For six weeks Ferguson had to wear a plaster to support his face. Ferguson at that time had two jobs, one as a professional footballer and another in a factory. It was during this time that he met his wife Cathy Holding. After two months of pain and embarrassment, the plaster was finally removed and Ferguson was ready for action. And this was when Ferguson suffered his biggest losses of his career and they were in back to back games. In his first game after injury St Johnstone Reserves lost to Celtic Reserves 10-1 and in his second outing, Kilmarnock reserves thrashed them 11-2.And as far as we know he didn’t score any of those three consolation goals.

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.

Ferguson after the day he scored a hat-trick against Rangers

Read More

Football Tactics for Beginners: The Low Block

What is the low block? The low block is generally referred to a football team's defensive shape without the ball. Generally the low block consists...

Football Tactics for Beginners: Defending Corner Kicks

We are all afraid of it. It is the 90th minute, your team is up by one goal and the opposition is about to...

Football Tactics for Beginners- The Sweeper Keeper: From Lev Yashin to Manuel Neuer

Germany’s Manuel Neuer has been widely credited as one of the finest goal-keepers of his generation, and quite rightly too. The Bayern Munich shot-stopper...

The Diminishing role of the Stopper Center Back in the Premier League

Defending and its place in the modern game has spawned a quagmire of critical debate. Back in 2014, when Gary Neville’s article in the...

The art of the long throw and how to counter it

Since the dawn of time, mankind has yearned to to throw stuff really far. Rocks, spears, shapes in the night club, to be human...

Football Tactics For Beginners-The Christmas Tree Formation

  Football is a result oriented business. Whatever succeeds, earns fame for itself and for its conceiver. And if it captures the imagination of spectators...

Football Tactics for Beginners: Tactical Periodization

What is Tactical Periodization? Tactical Periodization is a coaching methodology which is used to train football players with respect to the tactical context of the...

Football Tactics for Beginners

Descent into darkness: Osvaldo Zubeldia and the era of antifutbol

EVEN if Billy McNeill was really nicknamed Cesar rather than Caesar, there was no denying that the scene on May 25, 1967, was one...

The Original Invincibles- Preston North End 1888/89

In the wake of Manchester City’s record-breaking claim to the Premier League, The False 9 will look back at some of the greatest club...

Barcelona Vs Real Madrid:The Dream Team vs The Galacticos

An imagining of a match between two famous El Clasico sides. The 1992 European Cup winning Barcelona team, known as “The Dream Team” versus...

Cruyffism through Spain

Spain has developed a unique commitment to technical football which has put them in good stead to make the past decade a period of Spanish dominance. The story to this dominance begin decades before hand when Cruyff decided that Barcelona would be the club he would next manage after his time at Ajax was over. He would create a cohesive identity for the club which kept the vision while finding success. This vision began with a number of manager who came before Cruyff but after Cruyff left, there would be many managers in Spain who would use his methods to discovery their own success.

Football And Alcohol

      “When I read about the evils of drinking, I gave up reading.” Football and booze go a long long way back, in...

Lifted Over The Turnstiles: Scotland’s Football Grounds In The Black & White Era

This most comprehensive book about old Scottish football grounds ever published, Lifted Over the Turnstiles contains almost 200 photos of 42 football stadiums here...

FC Start and The Death Match

“Without belittling the courage with which men have died, we must not forget those acts of courage with which men have lived.” – John...

How to beat Pep’s Barcelona, with helpful advice from Bruce Lee, Samuel Johnson, and others.

Barcelona have started to dominate European football to such an extent that the drawing of group stages was inconsequential to them being pronounced favourites...

Dimples, Kangaroos and Bohemians

One of the main tram routes in Prague is the 22. This goes all the way from Bíla Hora, the site of one of...