Sir Alex Ferguson, the esteemed former manager of Manchester United, shared 57 years of wedded bliss with Lady Cathy before her passing. Their journey together began in Glasgow in 1964, and Sir Alex fondly referred to her as the “leader of the family.”
Reflecting on his illustrious managerial career, Sir Alex Ferguson, the legendary figure in football, revealed one of his few regrets. He expressed his belief that he should have firmly rebuffed a Rangers director who inquired about his wife’s religion.
Lady Cathy, who played an integral role in Sir Alex’s life, was married to him for 57 years until her recent passing. Their love story began when they crossed paths in Glasgow in 1964, eventually culminating in their wedding two years later. In the documentary “Sir Alex Ferguson: Never Give In,” she humorously recalled her initial impression of him, stating, “I thought he was a thug.”
The documentary also delved into Sir Alex’s disappointment with himself for not defending his wife when questioned about her religious beliefs in 1967, shortly after he joined Rangers. A club official sought to verify whether Ferguson, a Protestant, had married in a Catholic chapel before finalizing his contract. Despite his unease, Ferguson remained silent, driven by his childhood dreams of playing for the club.
Sir Alex recollected the conversation with the director, stating, “He says, ‘I have to ask you a question about your wife. I believe she is Catholic, were you married in a chapel?'” Ferguson responded, “No, we got married in the registry office.” The director’s response was, “Oh, that’s OK.”
Reflecting on this incident in the documentary, released in 2021, Sir Alex Ferguson candidly expressed his regret, saying, “I should have told him to f*** off.” He continued, “I really should have, but having supported Rangers as a boy and having the opportunity to go out and play for Rangers, you are prepared to take nonsense. I let myself down there, and I let my wife down because she was a devout Catholic.”
Cathy, in the film, acknowledged the challenges posed by their differing religions, saying, “We were different religions, and it did cause problems. That’s the way it was then, so we just said we would have a civil wedding in Glasgow registry office. It was his boyhood dream come true (to sign for Rangers). My memories with Rangers weren’t very happy.”
Sir Alex Ferguson spent two years at Rangers but never donned the club’s jersey again after being made a “scapegoat” for their 4-0 Scottish Cup final defeat to Celtic in 1969. Reflecting on this, he stated, “I was completely bombed out, training on my own.” He firmly believed that his wife’s Catholic faith played a pivotal role in this turn of events.