Aidy Boothroyd says the retirement of Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson will deprive the sport of one of its most humble men and its greatest ever achiever.
Boothroyd revealed Ferguson, who yesterday confirmed his intention to leave Old Trafford after 27 years in charge, contacted him when he was sacked by Watford to invite him to United’s Carrington training ground.
The legendary Scot, who has won 38 trophies in his 27 years in Manchester, has regularly been available as a source of advice to the current Cobblers boss and football managers throughout the land.
And Boothroyd feels those qualities, combined with a matchless record in terms of winning silverware, mark Ferguson out as the greatest of all time.
“When I came out of Watford he was the first person to phone me up and invite me up to Carrington for a few days,” he said. “People in football tend to get a bad rap but what he brings to the sport more than anything is humility.
“He helps the little man.
“To go from his working-class background in Govan and to do what he has done is a phenomenal achievement.
“My dad always says to me you should judge somebody by how they treat the little people and he treated me very well.
“He does a lot for charity and he really is a fantastic guy. I think he’s the best that there’s ever been.”
While Ferguson is winding down his managerial career, Boothroyd’s remains in full swing, with preparations moving up a gear this week for the npower League Two play-off final.
The Northampton squad resumed training on Wednesday following two days off after the completing of their semi-finals against Cheltenham Town.
Boothroyd contacted Ferguson for some words of wisdom the last time he was preparing a team for a play-off final but confirmed he won’t be bothered the soon-to-be retired 71-year-old this time around.
“When we got to the play-off final at Watford I phoned him up, asked for some advice and he gave me some pearls,” he said.
“He lent me a couple of books and he’s always been at the end of a phone if I ever need any help, I think he does that for everybody because that’s the kind of guy he is.
“I won’t phone him this week because I think he’ll be a bit busy. He’ll be planning what he’s going to do next and maybe buying a couple more racehorses.”