Sir Alex Ferguson was once arrested and spent a night in jail after getting into a drunken fight whilst he was still a footballer, it’s revealed.
During his playing days, the legendary Manchester United manager was at St Johnstone at the time and was struggling to break into the first team.
Ferguson was fined a total sum of £3 (not a typo) for the incident after appearing in court, with the details emerging causing a stir on social media.
By his own admission, Ferguson went off the rails in the early 1960s as a result of his career losing momentum and he caused a rift with his dad, with the duo choosing not to speak for two years as a result of what happened.
In the new documentary Sir Alex Ferguson: Never Give In, the 79-year-old recalled this period of his life and spoke all about what happened.
Ferguson said, as reported by the Daily Record: “I was getting despondent about football because I wasn’t a first-team player all the time.
“My career was going down the pan and I went off the rails a bit. I was going out in town and I started going out on Friday nights even, the day before a game.
“My dad would say ‘You can’t go to the dancing if you’ve got a game tomorrow.’
“That’s when we fell out. It got to a point where he said ‘Go your own way and we’ll see what happens,’ and then we weren’t talking to one another.
“For two years between 1961 and 1963, we didn’t talk.
“One night I went out and I got drunk and I ended up in a fight and ended up in jail. I went to court and got fined £3. I was a bit of a black sheep.
“That period has always been in the back of my head and I have always regretted it. Here’s me with the background and upbringing I had and I surrendered.”
In the documentary, which was premiered at the Glasgow Film Festival over the weekend, Ferguson explained how he was able to get his life back in order and how a hat-trick for St Johnstone against Rangers in December 1963 played a huge part in revitalising his career again.
Just had privilege of watching world premiere of new Sir Alex Ferguson film ‘Never Give In’ at @glasgowfilmfest. Absolutely outstanding 👏 From his Govan roots to #MUFC glory in Barcelona and his brain haemorrhage, just brilliantly done. Credit to his son and director Jason. 🇾🇪 pic.twitter.com/xq4smbRWYQ
— 6 Foot 2 Eyes of Blue, big Jim Holton’s after you! (@62eyesofblue) March 6, 2021
“It was the most important game of my life,” added Ferguson.
“I wanted to go home and see my dad because I knew he would be proud.
“I said ‘What do you think dad?’. He said ‘It was all right, OK,’ and then he starts ‘That’s the boy I had.’
“We were back pals. That changed my life, it was the biggest break of my life and it was the one that mattered to me.
“After that, I was committed. It was nothing but football for me.”
The documentary, which has been directed by Ferguson’s son Jason, documents his recovery from a brain haemorrhage he suffered in May 2018.
He spoke on how he feared he would never speak again and lose his memory after waking up from emergency surgery following the near death experience.
The former East Stirlingshire, St Mirren, Aberdeen and Scottish national team manager retired at Old Trafford in May 2013, after 27 years at in charge during which he won 38 trophies, including two Champions League titles.
‘Sir Alex Ferguson: Never Give In’ will be in cinemas from the 27th of May and will be premiering on Amazon Prime from the 29th of May.
SIR ALEX’S CAREER:
Harmony Row Boys Club
1957–1960 – Queen’s Park – 31 apps (15 goals)
1960–1964 – St Johnstone – 37 apps (19 goals)
1964–1967 – Dunfermline Athletic – 89 apps (66 goals)
1967–1969 – Rangers – 41 apps (25 goals)
1969–1973 – Falkirk – 95 apps (37 goals)
1973–1974 – Ayr United – 24 apps (9 goals)
Total – 317 apps (171 goals)
1960 – Scotland Amateurs – 1 app (1 goal)
1967 – Scotland XI – 7 apps (9 goals)
1967 – Scottish Football League XI – 2 apps (1 goal)
1974 – East Stirlingshire
1974–1978 – St Mirren
1978–1986 – Aberdeen
1985–1986 – Scotland
1986–2013 – Manchester United
It is set to be a fascinating watch, seeing Sir Alex’s life from start and up until the present day.
Other parts of the doc will feature his childhood, unseen footage of Fergie leading an apprentice march in 1960 when the shipyard workers went on strike to demand higher pay, and then lifting the Premier League and Champions League trophies.
As reports emerge that Sir Alex Ferguson spent a night in jail after being arrested following a drunken fight, fans started talking about the documentary and his classic antics…
@okekemezie1: So good he made it alive and fine. Such a icon.
@jamie23699: Could’ve been killed
@Teabag_trooper: Don’t get me wrong I hated this guy as a liverpool fan though the 90s but he’s the greatest manager the football world has ever seen
@88jaffa88: I’ve been there with a brain haemorrhage, so I can relate to his fears. I now wake every morning happy to be alive!
@genericdalglish: Glad he made such a great recovery.
@ForeverAYellow: Really looking forward to watching this documentary when it’s released, sounds well put together and will no doubt be a hit with every football fan, so how the drunken fight is included haha
@Wig82: So glad he pulled through. Love him or hate him football wise, greatest manager of his generation.
@LeeBRFCSpary: Hated him growing up. But when this happened I knew if anyone could survive this it was him.
A true legend, a fighter and ultimate dedication and determination. Great to see him healthy and well. #footballfamily
@AndrewAndyc0463: A very genuine and very nice man, he opened the GP’s near me and then turned up at my wifes care home to meet and sit with a lifelong Utd fan who was very poorly, he chatted with all the staff and residents and left a mark on all of them, the measure of the man.
@coxy_007: Doesn’t matter who you support, if you don’t appreciate what he has done in football you don’t understand football. Glad he is back and is in full health. All the best sir Alex from a Bristol city fan.
Sir Alex Ferguson made them cover the city badge on his seat at the Etihad. 😭😭😭 pic.twitter.com/bRnMdUV7LS
— ‘ (@TheShowtimeReds) March 7, 2021
Just watched Sir Alex Ferguson – Never Give In. Fantastically well put together from 550 hours of footage, starting with 999 call after he collapsed + including SAF on Apprentice March, striking for more pay. Son Jason directed and evidently SAF felt at ease telling his story.
— Simon Stone (@sistoney67) March 6, 2021
— The Sportswoman 👩🏻 (@TheSportsman) May 15, 2020
🗣 “He could’ve been killed”
Sir Alex Ferguson’s rant about Ashley Williams kicking the ball at Van Persie’s head pic.twitter.com/rJ8IyilD5R
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) July 1, 2020