Ryan Giggs and Rio Ferdinand reveal personal side of Sir Alex Ferguson in BBC documentary
Ryan Giggs and Rio Ferdinand have opened up about the personal side of Sir Alex Ferguson during his tenure as manager of Manchester United.
In a documentary aired on BBC1 on Sunday evening , the former Red Devils pair joined Jose Mourinho and Cristiano Ronaldo in sharing their memories of the most successful manager in English football history.
Despite his aura and the respect he commanded at Old Trafford and at United's training base at Carrington, Giggs insists he took time to speak to all the staff, and made everyone feel part of the club.
"He had this unbelievable ability of remembering everyone's name," said the Welshman. "There's Cath on reception, laundry girls, the chefs, cleaners.
"There are 65 or 70 players. You've got to remember all their names, plus the schoolboys, that's another 30 or 40. He knew all their names because he took an interest in how they were progressing.
"He's the top man, and if he's doing it, everyone else should be doing it as well."
Ferdinand recalled the impact Sir Alex had on his family, following his big-money move from Leeds United.
He said: "He made my mum and girlfriend feel comfortable. I remember them saying 'He's such a nice guy'.
"People didn't see that side of him too much, but he was brilliant like that."
Mourinho concurs: "Sir Alex made Man United think in a certain way. He modelled club around his personaliy. Man United will always be influenced by what he did. The club was made in his image."
Ronaldo revealed: "He invites everyone to come for lunch, come for tea... an English cup of tea!
"It was a family with him.
"When my dad was sick in London and was in hospital – very bad, in a coma – I had a conversation with [Ferguson].
"I said, 'Boss, I don't feel good.'
"We are in a key moment in the league and the Champions League , but I say, 'Boss, I don't feel good. I want to see my dad.'
"[He said] 'Cristiano, you want to go one day, two days, one week, you can go. I'm going to miss you here because you know you are important. But your dad [comes] first.
"When he told me that, I thought, 'This guy's unbelievable'.
"He was a football father for me."