Sir Alex Ferguson‘s presence at Manchester United will be felt long into the future.
The Premier League club has recieved approval from local authorities to erect a statue honoring its longtime manager. An award-winning artist will design the tribute, which will stand outside of the recently renamed “Sir Alex Ferguson Stand” at Old Trafford, according to the Manchester Evening News.
“A spokeswoman for Trafford council confirmed that the statue plan has now been approved,” the report says. “An artist’s impression drawn up as part of the plan appears to show Sir Alex holding a ball under his right arm.”
United commissioned Scottish sculptor Philip Jackson for the Ferguson project. Jackson has already made statutes of United legends Sir Matt Busby, George Best, Denis Law and Bobby Charlton, which stand at Old Trafford. He is hard at work on his latest piece.
“I have met Sir Alex on a number of occasions and he is a very nice chap, Jackson said. “I took a lot of pictures of him and watched a lot film. You have to get to know the subject.
“He [Ferguson] came down to see the clay sculpture and he seemed very pleased.”
Local authorities have given United a three-year window to erect the statue, but it should be up way before 2015. The club hopes to commemorate Ferguson’s 25-years at the club — a mark he celebrated in on Nov. 6, 2011 — with the statue.
The 70-year-old intends to step down as United manager by the end of the 2013-14 season.