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Fergie! (clip 1)

Biographical documentary about Sir Alex Ferguson

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Documentary film showcasing the career of Sir Alex Ferguson who later went on to become manager of Manchester United FC. The film highlight Sir Alex Ferguson's background and how it contributed to his early managerial career. The film opens with an aerial shot of Aberdeen, coming into Pittodrie Stadium. Interviews follow with players and coaches offering their views on Ferguson including Willie Miller, Eric Black, Jim Mcclean and Gordon Strachan. Jimmy Reid and Ferguson's childhood manager Bob Inness both describe the footballing culture of Glasgow's youths. Ferguson is shown attending a youth game and in black and white photos from his playing days. He talks about the people who influenced him in his youth including his father. Govan's shipbuilding industry is depicted with footage of cranes and workers and the launch of a ship, the "Charles Parsons". The traditional song 'The Fairfield Crane' (also known as 'The Shipyard Apprentice') features. Go to clip 2 of this film.

Questions & Activities


  • Name the famous football players in the film.
  • What impression do the players give of Alex Ferguson€™'s character?
  • What does 'gallus'€™ mean?
  • Why was it tears that made the Clyde?
  • Why do you think the thoughts of Jimmy Reid in this clip? Who was he and what was his importance to Govan?
  • How does Alex Ferguson explain his desire to win? How does this influence his attitude when coming into management?
  • Do you agree that being a '€˜bad loser' is a virtue for a football manager?


English: Do a close reading on the lyrics to the song used in the clip entitled 'Shipyard Apprentice / The Fairfield Crane'€™ by Archie Fisher (with music by Bobby Campbell). How does the song depict the character of the people from Govan? Look for other poems on the same theme.

English: Write a biographical account of a sportsperson you admire or a teacher you respect.

Sport / English: Research the life and career of Alex Ferguson since this film was made. What do you think the players would say about him now?

Moving Image Education: Make an updated biographic documentary film using photographs and film clips (if possible).

Clip Details

Record Id 007-000-004-185-C
Resource Rights Holder Courtesy of Scottish Television
Project Ref N1069
Date 1986
Genre Sports Documentary
School Subject Physical Education, Health and Wellbeing, English, Social Studies
Who Grampian Television (production company), John W. Doran (director, producer)
Where Aberdeen, Govan
Attributes Colour, Sound
Clip Length 9:35
Film Length 21:13