Early Doors

Fergie says success down to beatings with belt

Sir Alex Ferguson has spoken revealingly about how he feels his success was largely down to being beaten with a belt by his favourite schoolteacher.

Famous for his 'hairdryer' angry rants, Fergie says he owes his managerial triumphs to the times when he was disciplined as a schoolboy by his favourite teacher, Elizabeth Thomson.

The 72-year-old has said he now keeps the belt in his study at home after it was given to him by Thomson before she died.

Corporal punishment was banned in Glasgow schools in 1982 but Ferguson puts it down to him having the discipline and determination he showed as a hugely successful manager.

"Six from that belt and you were in absolute agony. That was the punishment you had, in my case, usually for fighting in the playground," he told the Times Educational Supplement.

"Elizabeth Thomson was an inspiration to me."

He added: "She had a raw determination about her and she improved everyone she touched.

"Mrs Thomson endeavoured to make you be the best you could be. Yes, that part of me comes from her."

Fergie kept in touch with Thomson long after he had left school and continues to reflect on what she did for him.

"When she died, I couldn't go to her funeral but months later I got a parcel. She had bequeathed her belt to me.

"Her nephew sent it with a letter saying: 'You'll know more about this belt than anyone.'

"It's in my study now. My grandchildren are terrified of it."