Sir Alex Ferguson reveals love of horses stems from Saturdays with his dad – and an international break in the 90s

SIR Alex Ferguson has revealed that Saturdays with his dad as a youngster – and an international break in the 1990s.

The legendary football manager held the reigns at Manchester United for 26 years during which time he became famously invested in racehorses.

The 81-year-old was speaking to Raceday in Bahrain on Wednesday where he told of how he and late wife Cathy attended the races at Cheltenham, which sparked a keen passion for the Scotsman.

Ferguson also told how he picked up an earlier interest in horse-racing thanks to his own dad who would get the form book out on a Saturday morning before the weekend meetings.

The clip shows host Frankie Foster standing at the track in Bahrain with the former United manager saying: “Sir Alex you’re clearly still as enthusiastic as ever about your horse racing, being out in Bahrain.

“If we rewind for people who maybe don’t know; why did – and how did – you get into horse racing?”

Ferguson, sporting a gilet and a white shirt, reveals that initially as a boy, his father got him interested in the sport, saying: “I think to be honest with you, the roots are in my father.

“He was a great horse fancier, he used to have his time-form book on a Saturday morning, all the information you could possibly get about every race, that’s where the seed was set.”

The treble winning manager tells how during an international break in the 1997-98 season, a chance meeting at the racecourse brought him into the world of horse ownership.

He said: “I didn’t really take it up in terms of the ownership until about ’97 or ’98 something like that you know, there was an international break, and I said to my wife, ‘Why don’t we go to the racing?’

“She said, ‘Where did you get that from?’, so we went to Cheltenham and we met two great Irishmen, Dessie Scahill who did the commentaries in Ireland and John Mulhern, a wonderful man.”

Sir Alex Ferguson
Sir Alex Ferguson told RTV that he first fell for the horses when he watched with his dad. Credit: RTV

However, the ex-Aberdeen boss admits that he loved the release he got whilst following his horses home and away as it was a relaxing break from his day job.

The 13-time Premier League winning manager admits: “I got hooked on it and I bought a horse with Jack [Berry] and from then on, I’ve now got 32.

“So, it’s a fantastic sport in terms of release for me away from the football and I’ve followed it ever since.”

Raceday shared the clip to social media on this Wednesday with the caption: “Full discussion with Sir Alex Ferguson from the track in Bahrain.”

The clip received over 9,700 likes with more than 170 comments from social media users who were delighted to see Sir Alex Ferguson looking so well.

One said: “He looks incredible.”

Another added: “Massive Liverpool fan but it’s great to see old purple nose looking well, he was a fantastic manager in fairness.”

A third replied: “Sir Alex, not a man on the planet deserves more happiness than this man.”

Another commented: “His voice just rings nostalgia for me, my God.”

Sir Alex’s horse Spirit Dancer won the race and netted the Scotsman a whopping £500,000 much to his delight.