Sir Alex Ferguson: Never Give In is a 2021 sports documentary film about the former Aberdeen and Manchester United football manager, Sir Alex Ferguson. Never Give In was released on 29th May and is available to stream on Amazon Prime Video.
Never Give In follows Alex Ferguson’s life from his very first experiences growing up in Glasgow, his playing career as a footballer and his managerial career at both Aberdeen and Manchester United. The documentary features a number of interviews with former players, coaches and family members, as well as showcasing some fantastic archived footage.
Sir Alex Ferguson is undoubtedly a household name and his fiery persona and plethora of footballing achievements make him one of the most iconic figures in football. Despite Ferguson being well known across the globe, not many people know his background and how he was moulded into the man he became. The documentary does a fantastic job at conveying his lifetime of experiences as well as looking at his recent brain haemorrhage in 2018.
The documentary starts right at the beginning of Sir Alex’s life, focusing on his early experiences in Glasgow. The documentary is insightful and provides an eye-opening account of a young Alex Ferguson and his struggles as he grew up in a working-class background. Some of the early footage and photos of Sir Alex are brilliant to behold and even at such a young age, you can clearly see the mentality and mindset he still holds to this day.
From the documentary, you a great sense that Sir Alex’s working-class background and influences certainly played a huge part on his development into becoming one of the greatest football managers of all time. We often appreciate greatness, but fail to appreciate the struggles and hardships in the journey to reaching the top. The apt title ‘Never Give In’ is a theme which has resonated with Sir Alex throughout his lifetime, from growing up on the streets of Govan to his brain haemorrhage just a few years ago. It’s hard not to be even more awestruck by the man!
As the documentary progresses we see Sir Alex grow up and go through the stages of becoming a professional footballer and then becoming a manager later in his career. Some of the footage is fantastic, with some brilliant clips of Sir Alex in his playing days as a striker for the likes of Rangers and Dunfermline. It was amazing to learn about Sir Alex’s background and history with Rangers and how he’d grown up as a boyhood fan of them, signed for them for a Scottish record transfer fee and then left the club in fairly saddening circumstances.
Like his playing career, I was fascinated by some of the footage and interviews of his time as manager of Aberdeen. I was aware of the success he’d had as the Aberdeen manager, but learning that Aberdeen didn’t even have a training ground and still managed to achieve such greatness just emphasised how good of a manager Sir Alex was! I really enjoyed the narrative and progression of the documentary, it felt like a logical timeline with just about the right amount of time spent on each period of his life.
Some of the interviews in the documentary are excellent, particularly with those of Sir Alex himself and his closest family members. Overall, there are only a select few individuals whose interviews are featured in the final cut and this strikes a perfect balance and doesn’t detract from the interviews with Sir Alex himself. Each of the interviews offer a personal insight into what Sir Alex is like as a person and it was captivating learning that he ultimately put work before family at times.
One of my favourite parts of the documentary is without doubt the footage of Sir Alex during the 1999 Champions League Final. In what Sir Alex calls his ‘greatest footballing moment’, the footage solely focuses on Sir Alex on the touchline, rather than the action on the pitch. Seeing the raw emotion exude from him and having followed his journey from the start of the documentary, it really is a story in which you want him to succeed.
Throughout the documentary, there are moments where the documentary comes back and looks at Sir Alex’s brain haemorrhage and how he’s dealt with it since. This does give the documentary a poignant feel to it and there were numerous times when I was close to tears, but this is just a huge credit to everyone involved in putting together such an outstanding documentary. His recovery from the brain haemorrhage and his ability to recollect some of these astonishing memories since, simply epitomise a man who has never given in.
Poignant, captivating and inspirational, Never Give In is an outstanding personal insight into one of the greatest football managers of all time.
Sir Alex Ferguson: Never Give In is currently available to watch on Prime Video in the UK. You can sign up for a free 30-day trial of Prime Video here – https://amzn.to/336PLAW (as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases).