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Monday, 17 July, 2000, 09:11 GMT 10:11 UK
Edwards: Life at United
Martin Edwards and Sir Alex Ferguson
Edwards (l) argued over money with Sir Alex (r)
Martin Edwards's decision to retire from as a non-executive member of the Manchester United plc with immediate effect ends a long association with the club.

Edwards will also step down from the board of the Old Trafford outfit at the end of the 2002/03 season.

He was first elected on to the United board as a 24-year-old in 1970 when his father, Louis, had a majority shareholding in the club.

Following his father's death in 1980, the junior Edwards took over the majority shareholding and was then voted in as chairman on 22 March in the same year.

  Edwards timeline
1945: Born in Adlington
1970: Elected to the Man Utd board
1980: Inherits majority shareholding and takes over as chairman
1986: Appoints Sir Alex Ferguson as manager
2000: Steps down as chief executive
2002: Quits plc board

It seemed a dream role for Edwards, who was born in 1945 in Adlington, near Macclesfield, and became a Manchester United fan during the famous Busby Babes era.

Edwards had helped run his father's jointly-owned meat company after finishing school but he left the family business when he became chairman at Old Trafford.

In 1981, Edwards wielded the axe upon club manager Dave Sexton, appointing Ron Atkinson as the man to take over affairs on the pitch at Old Trafford.

In 1982, Edwards was taken on board as one of the first full-time chief executives of the Football League.

The years between 1984 and 1989 were a true test for Edwards, having to see off an abortive bid from Robert Maxwell to buy the club.

Martin Edwards (right) and his successor as chief executive, Peter Kenyon.
Edwards (right) and his successor Peter Kenyon

That was followed by Michael Knighton's attempt to buy 10m of Edwards shares, which eventually fell through.

A successful flotation on the Stock Market valued the club at 18m in 1991 and ever since Edwards has made millions from selling the family's shareholdings.

His relationship with manager Sir Alex Ferguson has always been subject to speculation.

Ferguson's autobiography 'Managing My Life' claimed that there had been arguments over money during their time together at the club.

And Edwards was famously quoted as saying that Ferguson was "useless with money".

But the club continued to grow financially under the supervision of Edwards and before stepping down as chief executive Manchester United were reputed to be worth 1bn, with Old Trafford's capacity set to reach 67,400 for the 2000/01 season.

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