Early Doors

BBC buries hatchet with Fergie by handing him Diamond Award

Sir Alex Ferguson’s famous feud with the BBC was one of the most bitter and protracted conflicts of his fiery reign at Old Trafford – but now it seems there is enduring peace in our time.

The BBC announced on Sunday that Ferguson will be presented with the BBC Sports Personality Diamond Award during the corporation’s glitzy ceremony in Leeds on Sunday evening.

The award, which has never been given out before, is to recognise Ferguson’s incredible achievements in football, having won 13 league titles, five FA Cups, four League Cups and two Champions Leagues with United before retiring last summer.

However, for a full seven years during those glorious achievements the BBC was denied Ferguson’s post-match thoughts, with the United boss maintaining a boycott of the corporation from 2004 to 2011.

Ferguson was furious after the BBC refused to apologise for a documentary which aired in 2004, questioning the role of his son, Jason, as a football agent.

His blanket ban on the BBC only ended in 2011 when he held a meeting with director general Mark Thompson and director of BBC North, Peter Salmon. No apologies were offered, but hostilities were put on hold.

Now Ferguson is set to return firmly to the BBC’s bosom by taking to the stage on Sunday in front of sport’s leading figures to accept the Diamond Award.

Barbara Slater, director of BBC Sport, said: "Sir Alex's achievements are unique. We want to honour and recognise this by celebrating his final incredible year as a manager with this special award.

"Sir Alex Ferguson won the Sports Personality Lifetime Achievement award in 2001 after claiming some of the most sought-after trophies in the football world.

"The fact that his success continued for a further decade and more afterwards makes his achievements all the more remarkable," she continued.

"He is someone who has earned the respect of so many both in and outside of football, regardless of their footballing allegiances."