Statue of Ferguson unveiled at Old Trafford

LONDON Fri Nov 23, 2012 9:59pm IST

A statue of Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson, by sculptor Philip Jackson, is unveiled at Old Trafford stadium in Manchester, northern England November 23, 2012. REUTERS/Nigel Roddis

A statue of Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson, by sculptor Philip Jackson, is unveiled at Old Trafford stadium in Manchester, northern England November 23, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Nigel Roddis

LONDON (Reuters) - Alex Ferguson's glittering reign as Manchester United manager was celebrated when his wife Cathy unveiled a bronze statue of the Scot outside Old Trafford on Friday.

The 2.7 metre statue was revealed at a ceremony attended by the current United squad and many of the greats who have worked under the long-serving Ferguson such as Eric Cantona, Ruud van Nistelrooy and Peter Schmeichel.

Artist Philip Jackson, who was also responsible for another Old Trafford statue portraying former manager Matt Busby as well as the United Trinity piece featuring Bobby Charlton, George Best and Denis Law, resisted the temptation to capture Ferguson berating a referee, chewing gum or looking at his watch.

"I've tried to portray him as a man of great determination and as a thinking man, but also with humour which he has in abundance, so there's just a slight smile in the corner of his mouth. That's really what I wanted to portray," Jackson said.

Ferguson, who has been in charge for 26 years and won 12 Premier League titles and two Champions Leagues, appeared delighted with his likeness.

"Normally people die before they have a statue. I'm outliving death," he said at the unveiling which drew a crowd of 2,500 to the stadium.

(Reporting by Martyn Herman, editing by Mark Meadows)

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