Lady Cathy Ferguson, wife of former Manchester United coach Sir Alex Ferguson, has died at the age of 84. The Ferguson family confirmed the news in a statement provided to the PA news agency on Friday afternoon.
“We are deeply saddened to confirm the death yesterday of Lady Cathy Ferguson, who left behind her husband, three children, two sisters, 12 grandchildren and one great-grandson,” the statement said. The family is asking for privacy at this time.
Cathy had been married to Sir Alex since 1966, the couple had met when they both worked in a typewriter factory before his playing career at Rangers began.
When he announced his retirement as United manager in 2013 after a period of unprecedented success for the Red Devils, Ferguson said: “My wife Cathy has been the key figure throughout my career, providing a foundation for stability and encouragement. Words are not enough to express what this meant to me.
In 2002, Cathy was instrumental in persuading Ferguson to reverse his decision to retire at that point and run the club for another 11 years before finally announcing the death of Cathy’s sister.
Cathy was interviewed in a documentary titled Sir Alex Ferguson: Never Give In, which was released in 2021, and revealed that Sir Alex had taken her to the cinema on their first date.
He bought me a box of licorice all sorts at the cinema, from which he ate them all, and a local newspaper when we left. That was my romantic day. We got married at the registry office in Glasgow in 1966 and that was the beginning. I went to my job and he went to his football.
United released a statement that read: Everyone at Manchester United expresses our sincere condolences to Sir Alex Ferguson and his family on the death of Lady Cathy. Lady Cathy was a beloved wife, mother, sister, grandmother and great-grandmother and a tower of strength for Sir Alex throughout his career.
In the 2021 documentary about Sir Alex, Ferguson dedicated his career to Cathy. Jason Ferguson said in the film that his mother had been his father’s rock, adding: She allowed him to indulge in his obsession. She brought me and my brothers more or less alone and made sacrifices so that he could do what he was doing.
The flags at Old Trafford have been lowered to half-mast as a mark of respect for Cathy, while the men’s and women’s teams will wear black armbands to their matches this weekend.
Manchester City issued a response to United’s No. X post on Cathy’s death, which read: Everyone at Manchester City expresses their condolences to Sir Alex Ferguson and his family at this very difficult time.