Alex Ferguson on Paul McGinley and the man behind the 'Ta ra Fergie' banner

Manchester United managerial great speaks at An Evening With Rory in Dublin

Rory McIlroy, Alex Ferguson

Europe's Rory McIlroy with Sir Alex Ferguson after Jamie Donaldson won his match to win the Ryder Cup ©INPHO/Cathal Noonan

A couple of years ago, Alex Ferguson played his part in Europe's 2014 Ryder Cup win.

Then-captain Paul McGinley sought his expertise and experience as a successful leader and tonight the former Manchester United managerial great was on hand to look back at that during An Evening With Rory McIlroy at the Convention Centre.

"I must say that Paul McGinley really surprised me about his preparation and he spoke to me a year before the tournament and he had all this plan mapped out and even who were going to be his partnerships on the first day and I says 'well, I want to buy into this. This guy definitely has the makings of a really successful manager,'" he told host James Nesbitt, discussing complacency as one of the issues he made a point of talking to the Ryder Cup team about.

Rory McIlroy, alongside him on stage, also spoke about being in a "trance" after listening to the team talk, especially appreciating it as a Man United fan.

"I'm walking to my hotel room in a trance. I've just got a team talk from Alex Ferguson. I was never going to be a professional footballer obviously so that was the closest thing I was going to get to playing for United," he said.



Ferguson also looked back at his own career as a young manager, all the way through his successful spells at Aberdeen and most famously at Man United, starting with an anecdote which shows the vast difference between his tough early days to contrasting culmination.

"December '89 was the dark period, right through December not winning a game and you cannot do that at Man United. We were 1-0 up at Crystal Palace at half-time and lost 2-1. As I came off the pitch, there's this guy with a banner up 'Ta Ra Ferguson.'"

"That guy, this is true, a year and a half ago I'm in the house and the intercom goes and they say they've got a package for Mr Ferguson. So I let the guy in. This guy had written a book 'Ta Ra Ferguson' and gave me it!" said Ferguson, before laughing, "I gave him it back. Why the hell would I want to read that?"