Legendary Aberdeen manager Sir Alex Ferguson received a standing ovation as he returned to Pittodrie to unveil a statue of himself at the ground.
A crowd gathered in the sold-out Richard Donald Stand to see the man who won three league titles, five Scottish Cups, a Scottish League Cup, the European Cup Winners’ Cup and European Super Cup during an eight-year spell with Aberdeen between 1978 and 1986.
Three of Ferguson’s former players from his Cup Winners’ Cup side of 1983, Gordon Strachan, Neil Simpson and captain Willie Miller, were also there to pay tribute.
After a short speech to the supporters, the 80-year-old, who also managed Manchester United for a trophy-laden 27 years, unveiled the statue in his honour behind the goals.
He said: “It is a fantastic honour, and I have to reflect on my life that way because what we achieved here at Aberdeen was almost a miracle, some people would probably regard it as a miracle, but we battered them, we absolutely battered them.”
On the side who defeated the mighty Real Madrid in Gothenburg to lift the Cup Winners’ Cup in 1983, he said: “It was a tribute for me to work with these players.
“Some people want to go to the local park for their holidays and others want to go to the moon, these boys wanted to go to the moon, they had the desire to keep getting better and better and that gave me the incentive to work with them.
“All the other clubs want to win but you have to want it more than them and that desire to win more than others is the thing that will get you there.”
The club commissioned the statue to mark his achievements and it will be installed outside the stadium’s Richard Donald Stand.
Ferguson also managed East Stirling and St Mirren before joining Aberdeen.
He also took charge of Scotland for the 1986 World Cup, after the death of mentor Jock Stein during a qualifier in Cardiff, before joining the Manchester giants where he won 13 league titles, five FA Cups, four League Cups, the Cup Winners’ Cup and two Champions Leagues.
He retired from the game in 2013 after leading United to yet another Premier League crown.
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