Joe Dargan SJ, former Irish Jesuit Provincial, met Sir Alex Ferguson ten years ago and they’ve been good friends ever since. Joe has many insights into the recently retired Manchester United boss, regarded by many as the greatest football manager ever. He spoke to Pat Coyle of the Jesuit Communication Centre in an interview which you can listen to by clicking above.
Joe first met Sir Alex at Old Trafford through a mutual friend, and they quickly became friends themselves when the Manchester United manager came to a wedding in Ireland at which Joe was officiating.
Alex Ferguson is famous for his passion for ‘the beautiful game’, his ‘hairdryer’ dressing down of his players, his berating of referees, and his incredible track record as a football manager. In this interview, Joe talks about the man behind the headlines: his leadership skills, his integrity, his interest in history, particularly Irish history, and his concern for others. Sir Alex twice came to Ireland to help raise money for the Belvedere College scholarship scheme. He gave a talk on leadership in Croke Park that raised a huge amount of money, and people still remember what he said on the night, including Joe.
Joe believes we can learn a lot from the man whose resignation was world-wide news and even affected the New York stock exchange. Pat begins the interview by asking Fr Joe if he was surprised at Sir Alex’s retirement announcement?