Former Man Utd youth team coach Eric Harrison pays tribute to Sir Alex Ferguson

Winners of the PFA Merit Award the Manchester United Class of 92' featuring Eric Harrison and Sir Alex Ferguson with players.
Winners of the PFA Merit Award the Manchester United Class of 92' featuring Eric Harrison and Sir Alex Ferguson with players.

Halifax based Eric Harrison has paid tribute to his former boss and good friend Sir Alex Ferguson.

The Manchester Utd legend is retiring after 26 years and many of his star players were groomed by Eric.

He was appointed Youth Team coach in 1981 and was in the job for 22 years.

His “Class of 1992” became known as “Fergie’s Fledglings” and included star players David Beckham, Ryan Giggs, Nicky Butt, Gary and Phil Neville and Paul Scholes.

Eric and Sir Alex recently dined together in London at the Professional Footballers’ Association Awards where both men were presented with a merit award for their work with the “class of 1992.”

“I do not think there will be another bunch of players like that. And, Alex is not just a great manager but also a great friend. He is an amazing man and a good person,” said Eric.

Eric will be at Old Trafford on Sunday for Sir Alex’s last home game against Swansea and said it was fitting he was bowing out having again won the Premier League.

Sir Alex’s success at winning major trophies is well documented but Eric’s youth teams were also successful.

“We won an awful lot with the youth teams and not just the ‘Class of 1992’ but what Alex has done no-one will do again,” said Eric.

He said Sir Alex had a great work ethic and was often in work at 7 am and David Moyes would be a good replacement for Sir Alex as he had similar qualities and believed in a vibrant youth set-up.

And, Eric, told the Courier he wished his first club FC Halifax Town all the best in Sunday’s play-off final.

“I am so pleased for them and just wish I had the chance to see them more,” he said.

“I had 10 years at Halifax Town and playing football was the happiest time of my career,”

Eric, now 75 and living at Skircoat Green, is still busy scouting for Huddersfield Town and he is an ambassador with the McDonald’s community football programme.