Sir Alex Ferguson hails Eric Harrison after former-Manchester United coach receives MBE

by Harry Robinson

Sir Alex Ferguson revealed his delight at hearing of former-Manchester United coach Eric Harrison being awarded an MBE in the New Year’s Honours List.

Harrison was vital in the development of many players who came through at the club under Ferguson, including the famous Class of ’92 group including David Beckham, Gary Neville, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and Nicky Butt.

The 79-year-old has been in bad health recently, and his reputation at Man United meant many were thrilled to see the news about an MBE come out recently.

That included Fergie, who said he “was so delighted for him.”

“If you wanted a teacher who gives you the right way, the right path forward, Eric was that man. He was fantastic in his time here.

“When I came to United at first, I decided I should go on with Eric because you know what happens when new managers come into the club, they bring their own staff.

“I just brought one with me and I was prepared to give the other staff their opportunity. I was really lucky in a sense because I got to know the work Eric was doing and it was a really great decision.”

The Scot accepted that Harrison was mainly known for the Class of ’92, was quick to point out his standing amongst players outside of that group, as well.

“The Class of 92 was the climax of his coaching career,” Fergie said, “but so many players have great things to say about him. He deserves this honour, he has made a great contribution.”

There is no doubt about Harrison’s contribution to football.

David Beckham joined Ferguson in the tributes towards Harrison, who also spent time at Everton, writing on his Instagram page: “So proud of Eric for being awarded an MBE.

“Someone that has done so much for me personally and for a man that, as a kid, scared the hell out of me but prepared me for the career I was going to have for club and country.

“This honour is for the work that he has done for Manchester United producing great young players, year after year. Congratulations Eric, to you and your family.”

With Harrison in poor health, it’s fantastic for him to be recognised for his contribution to Manchester United and football as a whole in England. His legacy lived on through the Class of ’92, as well as many others, and with Nicky Butt now heading up the academy, that legacy will continue to live on for many years.

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