First published in the 1980s, the book, A Light In The North, paid tribute to Sir Alex Ferguson’s seven years with Aberdeen FC.
By the end of the year, a new statue outside Pittodrie Stadium will provide a more permanent reminder of the Govan Knight’s legacy.
It will be the first commission in a series planned to honour Dons’ legends from over the decades.
Based on a photograph taken at Easter Road in 1980, in which Ferguson – then only 38 – has his arms in the air celebrating the Dons’ first title win since 1955, it will be a more-dynamic image than the one that already stands outside Old Trafford.
There, despite mischievous suggestions from rival fans he should surely have been captured looking down at his watch in search of “Fergie Time”, an elder Scot stands with arms folded in calm contemplation.
If it is easy to guess who will be next in the Aberdeen series – think Willie Miller and other Gothenburg Greats – it will be intriguing to see how many Aberdeen go for.
Essential qualifications to have a statue erected in your honour are generally agreed to be longevity, and outstanding achievement.
But just who should qualify?
Plans have already been approved to put one up of Denis Law – who never played for the Dons, but is Aberdeen’s most-famous footballing son – elsewhere in the Granite City.
It will, somewhat fittingly, considering how greedy for goals he was as a player, complete an impressive hat-trick for the Lawman, who is the only man to have two statues dedicated to him at Old Trafford.
The best known has him with George Best and Sir Bobby Charlton, the other two parts of United’s Holy Trinity.
Celtic have four at their ground, albeit of different men.
Billy McNeill, holding the European Cup high (below), stands at the foot of the Celtic Way.
At the other end, a short distance away, two other heroes of Lisbon – team-mate, Jinky Johnstone, and manager, Jock Stein – are lined up alongside the Hoops’ founder, Brother Walfrid.
By some criteria, Brendan Rodgers would have a shout to complete the five-a-side team.
The Northern Irishman led Celtic to an Invincible Treble in 2016-17, his first season in charge, repeated the Treble the next season and put them well down the road to completing the Treble Treble the following year.
However, so speedy was his departure to Leicester City in February 2019 – he took the team against Motherwell on a Sunday and, by the time they played Hearts three days later, he was gone – many fans would only approve were his name and the legend: “Beep, beep” carved out on a plaque in front of a bronze of the Road Runner.
Sometimes fewer can be more.
Rangers have just one statue at their ground, the poignant sculpture of John Greig that is the club’s enduring memorial of the Ibrox Disaster in 1971, when Greig was captain and 66 people lost their lives after an Old Firm game.
Some, of course, are not lucky enough to see themselves immortalised in their lifetime.
Greig’s Rangers team-mate, the late Davie Cooper, who also starred for Scotland and Motherwell, stands in the grounds of Hamilton Palace Sports Ground in Hamilton.
A statue of the legendary Dundee United boss, Jim McLean, who passed away at the end of 2020, has been sculpted and will soon take pride of place outside Tannadice.
Pictures of McLean’s bronze have been released and it is a fair likeness – something that cannot always be taken for granted.
So awful was the statue that Southampton unveiled for their club legend, Ted Bates, in 2007, that some critics claimed it made him look like Jimmy Krankie .
It was on display for less than a week before it was removed, and a replacement erected the following year.
A similar fate befell the notorious bust of Cristian Ronaldo, which was unveiled at Madeira Airport.
Universally mocked for managing the trick of making the Portuguese look a lot worse than he does in real life, it was quietly replaced.
Renowned sculptor Andy Edwards looks sure to do a good job on the latest Fergie tribute.
Otherwise “The Hairdryer” awaits!
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