Page 2097 - Week 07 - Wednesday, 15 May 2013

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I congratulate Don and Barbara Kirk and thank them for their generosity. I thank all the members of the Kirk Family Foundation for their support of disadvantaged children and youth in the capital area.

Sir Alex Ferguson

Office of the Legislative Assembly—staff

MR DOSZPOT (Molonglo) (6.34): As ACT shadow minister for sport, I would like to pay tribute to Sir Alex Ferguson, Manchester United’s legendary manager. Winning 38 trophies for united, including five FA cups, four league cups, 13 premier league championships and two champions league titles over 27 years, makes him probably the most successful manager in world football history, and certainly in the United Kingdom. At his final match at Old Trafford a few days ago, a banner simply said, “Sir Alex—Immortal”. With a stand bearing his name and statue showing his image, at Old Trafford he is immortal.

It is highly unlikely that Manchester United will ever again see someone of the stature of Sir Alex Ferguson. His vision, energy, determination, and ability to build teams delivered him and Manchester United the incredible success they have enjoyed and certainly justify his immortal tag. Knighted for his services to English and Scottish football and to his club, Manchester United, Sir Alex Ferguson has set the ultimate standard for managers to aspire to, and at 71 years of age he has also defied the culture of youth that sport is often criticised for. As shadow minister for ageing, I also thank him for his leadership and example in this regard as well. Alex Ferguson’s reputation and global influence is such that the Manchester United share price fell nearly five per cent on news of his departure.

Here in Australia his departure will also be felt. There are many thousands of man united fans in Australia and obviously in Canberra. Even here in the ACT Assembly his influence has been felt through someone whom I suspect is more than just a fan and a supporter. I have secretly thought since I met him nearly five years ago that our Acting Senior Security Attendant in the ACT Assembly, one Peter Edwards, was sent to Australia by Alex Ferguson to be a talent scout or even an ambassador for the club. I have no evidence to the contrary to suggest he is not, and his knowledge and tracking of every move that man united and Sir Alex make only reinforces my suspicions.

Peter also excels as a player in the ACT Assembly parliamentary football team and has played in a number of matches where we have beaten our federal parliamentary counterparts. It will be interesting to see whether Sir Alex will now ask his successor, David Moyes, to also endorse Peter Edwards in his local mission on behalf of Manchester United. We will have to wait and see.

Still on a sporting note, I would also like to recognise the achievements of yet another attendant, Dennis Axelby, who is a member of the ACT over 60s cricket team, who are the current Australian national over 60s cricket champions. And while on the subject of Assembly staff, I would like to extend congratulations to a number of staff who were recently awarded long service certificates by Tom Duncan, the ACT

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