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Wednesday, 7 November, 2001, 08:37 GMT
Giggs salutes 'father' Fergie
Ferguson makes a point to a young Ryan Giggs and Clayton Blackmore
Ferguson makes a point to a young Ryan Giggs and Clayton Blackmore
Sir Alex Ferguson may have missed out on seeing his children grow up, but Ryan Giggs insists the Manchester United boss has been like a father to him.

Ferguson has admitted that one of the reasons for his decision to leave the Old Trafford hotseat at the end of the season is a desire to spend more time with his family.

The 59-year-old Scot claims that almost three decades in football management has forced him to sacrifice many of the pleasures of parenthood and that he would love to make up for lost time.

However, Wales international Giggs believes that the Ferguson family's loss has definitely been United's gain.

"I was sad to hear the manager feels he's missed out on seeing his kids grow up," Giggs said.

"He's spent so much time being a father figure to players like me, David Beckham, Paul Scholes, Phil and Gary Neville, it's meant he's had less time for other areas of his life.

"I just hope the success that dedication and sacrifice brought is some compensation - I'll always be grateful to him for making me the player I am.

Glamorous

"What a lot of people don't realise is the colossal amount of work he does.

"His involvement from the junior sides up to the first team is phenomenal.

"When you're a youth-team player trying to find your way, you don't expect to see the club manager at all your games.

"But if it meant 14-hour days, he didn't shirk the challenge.

"The energy he has devoted to the less glamorous aspects of his job is why United have the team we do today.

"He will never take a backseat and football will never see his like again. He is a one-off," Giggs told The Sun.


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06 Nov 01 |  Man Utd
Fergie admits to pressure
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