Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Glowing tribute

I was, as I mentioned in my previous post, at the LMA dinner last night as a guest of its Chief Executive, Richard Bevan, and I was sitting next to my host when he was paid probably the most extraordinary public tribute I have ever heard. I had to turn around and check that he was still alive.

It came from Sir Alex Ferguson, who addressed the 400-odd guests - all invitees, no tickets sold - before the organisation's annual awards were announced.

Fergie asked what the LMA would do when, one day, Bevan leaves them, because, he said, what Bevan had achieved on behalf of the association was simply outstanding. Then, to add context, he told the tale of the conversation he had with Carlos Quieroz when Quieroz was offered the top job at Real Madrid.

The Portuguese went to tell his then boss of the approach, and asked his advice. Ferguson apparently replied that of course Quieroz had no option but to take the role: it was, after all, one of the leading jobs in football.

But, he added, Quieroz should realise, in accepting, that in fact he would never have a better job than the one he held at Old Trafford. He was, explained Ferguson, loved at his present club; revered; and appreciated in a way that no organisation would ever be able to top.

"And that," concluded Fergie, "is how it is with Richard Bevan here at the LMA."

What a nice thing to have said about you.

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