Manchester United
1999 The Treble

An Archive of the Manchester United 1999 Treble Season.


  • The Knighthood

Soon after United's 1999 European Cup Final triumph Britain's bookmakers had to stop taking bets on manager Alex Ferguson being knighted. The honour had the full approval of Prime Minister Tony Blair, and of course, millions of United fans around the world.

The award was confirmed soon after at midnight in the Queen's Birthday Honours List.

"I am delighted and honoured," said the United manager. "I see this as an honour not just for me but for the people who have supported me through my life, and made me what I am."

"If my parents were still alive, they would be very proud. They gave me a good start in life, the values that have driven me, and the confidence to believe in myself. I could not have achieved what I have without the support of my friends and colleagues throughout my career, both as a player and as a manager in Scotland and England.

"Manchester United's success is not just down to me but to the players who have to deliver on the pitch, and to the people at Old Trafford, past and present, who have made it the greatest football club in the world." Sir Alex also had some touching words for his sibling, wife and children: "I want to thank my brother Martin and my three sons for their constant love and support. "Above all, I want to thank my wife Cathy. She knows better than anyone the pressures of the job, and the demands they place upon me. She is the rock of stability in my life and I share this honour with her."

All the staff at Old Trafford are thrilled for the man they affectionately refer to as 'The Boss.' Speaking on behalf of the club, Peter Kenyon, Deputy Chief Executive, enthused "Everyone at Manchester United is delighted by the news. It is a fantastic accolade and honour for a man who has put in so much hard work and determination, not only at Manchester United but also for British football. I couldn't think of a more befitting way to end what has been an unbelievable season."

The timing of Alex's award mirrors that of Sir Matt Busby's honour in 1968. The late, great forefather of the modern Manchester United was also knighted after winning the biggest club competition in the world, the European Cup.

Alex Ferguson received a knighthood to go with his CBE on Tuesday 20th July, and revealed that he had chatted with the Queen about football. He said that Her Majesty had passed judgement on the team's achievements. "The Queen told me she doesn't think it will ever be achieved again - and she's right," beamed Ferguson outside afterwards.

"The culmination of three trophies was the pinnacle of my career and it has been rewarded with a knighthood," said the kilted Sir Alex. "It's such a proud moment for me, my family and for the club - because it is a team effort. This is the medal that recognises all the others I've won in football.

"Football management is all about winning trophies and I'll be happy maintaining success. I don't set any particular targets - just win what you can," said only the eighth football figure to be knighted, following in the footsteps of Sir Matt Busby.


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