So reads a plaque on the desk of Sir Alex Ferguson. It is a stark reminder, if one were needed, of the working class Glaswegian roots of the greatest manager to grace the British game. While Sir Alex may have travelled far from those tough beginnings and now enjoys the finer things in life, on the 50th anniversary of the signing of his first professional football contract, he is still driven by a perpetual motion work ethic and a burning desire to succeed. This desire has often seen him at odds with officials, the FA, opponents the media and even his own players.
Many look at him now and dismiss his achievements on the grounds that he has immense financial might at his disposal and it is this that has brought the success. While it is true that United are a financial behemoth these days many forget that Sir Alex was, allegedly, 90 minutes from the sack in 1990 when a young lad named Mark Robins, remember him, plundered a priceless winner at Forest in the Cup. During those dark days when he was at his lowest ebb he was always the first to arrive and the last to leave Old Trafford or the Cliff. Steadily things got better and with the help of a phenomenal group of youngsters and some astute transfer deals he forged a dynasty of success.
He has often said that he does not want to suffer the same fate as his mentor, the late great Jock Stein, but is difficult to envisage him laying down the Old Trafford reins voluntarily. At the beginning of the 2001-2002 season he prematurely announced he would be retiring at the end of the season only to have a change of heart later in February. He announced then that he would serve at least another 3 years. That was 6 years ago and there are no immediate signs that he is thinking of retiring although he does tease the press from time to time.
And why would he? The current United squad is one of the best ever seen at the club with a heady mixture of tantalising young talent like Ronaldo, Rooney, Tevez, Nani, Anderson, Rafael and battle hardened veterans like Ferdinand, Berbatov & Vidic. He can also call on the wizened old stagers Giggs, Neville & Scholes who have been with him most of the way. With one double already under their collective belts Sir Alex must go to bed at night dreaming of just how good this current crop can become.
Of course the day is steadily approaching when United will have to find their way without the stewardship of their greatest general, a day all United fans dare not think about. But there is plenty of life in the old dog yet and perhaps another treble is not beyond his reach yet. What a fitting finale that would be for the working class boy fi Govan!