SIR ALEX FERGUSON has revealed he loves winding up his son Jason – because he is a CELTIC fan!
The Manchester United legend played for Rangers for two years after arriving in a £65,000 deal from Dunfermline in 1967.
The old-fashioned centre-forward had never hidden his admiration of the Govan club, despite scoring a hat-trick against them in a rare 3-2 St Johnstone victory in Glasgow in December 1963.
Fergie, now 79, recalled the historic day and admitted he didn’t think he would be involved in the Perth squad.
“On the Friday, my brother’s girlfriend phoned up my manager at St Johnstone and told him I had the flu,” recalled the manager who won two Champions League trophies with the Old Trafford club.
HAT-TRICK HERO…Alex Ferguson reads all about his goalscoring exploits against Rangers in 1963 in the Sunday Mail.
“But when I arrived home from a night at the swimming baths with my pals, my mother tore into me. She said: ‘I’ve had a telegram from your manager – get down to the telephone booth and call him’.
“The manager told me: ‘Report to the Bath Hotel tomorrow, you’re playing against Rangers’.
“I scored a hat-trick and became the first player to do so against Rangers at Ibrox. it changed my life.
“I became a full-time footballer in the summer and never looked back.”
Ferguson was given the premature boot by the Govan club in the aftermath of the 4-0 drubbing from Jock Stein’s men at Hampden in 1969 when goals from Billy McNeill, Bobby Lennox and George Connelly had Celtic coasting three goals ahead at the interval. Stevie Chalmers rounded off a memorable occasion by knocking the fourth beyond shell-shocked keeper Norrie Martin.
He was blamed for Big Billy’s headed opener from a Bobby Lennox left-wing corner-kick in the second minute and that was the end of his career at his boyhood idolas.
FINAL FAREWELL…Alex Ferguson races with skipper Billy McNeill in the 1969 Scottish Cup Final won by Celtic 4-0 – his last appearance for Rangers.
Fergie admitted the Ibrox club’s result is NOT one of the results he looks out for when he is checking the scores of former teams.
The iconic gaffer, who was in charge of Scotland during the World Cup Finals in Mexico in 1986, also played for Falkirk and Ayr United and managed East Stirling, St Mirren and Aberdeen before his move south in 1986.
Speaking to The Guardian, he added: “The only time I really support Rangers is when they play Celtic. That’s the big one. Jason is a Celtic fan. I love phoning him up when Rangers have beaten them.
“The funny thing is that the one team I always look for on Saturday night is Queen’s Park, my first club. I had a great learning experience as a 16-year-old lad playing for them.
“People think it’s an amateur team, but you had to be tough to play for Queen’s Park. That was a great foundation for me.”