SIR ALEX Ferguson has spoken of desire to see old rivals Leeds United back in the Premier league after another week of turmoil at Elland Road.
The legendary former manager of Manchester United made the comments as he paid tribute to the tireless work of Leeds-born racehorse trainer Jack Berry who instigated the Injured Jockeys Fund 50 years ago when Yorkshire rider Paddy Farrell was left paralysed by a fall in the Grand National.
Sir Alex will be guest of honour at the Leger Legends charity raceday at Doncaster on September 10 which will be raising money for Jack Berry House, the £3m medical and rehabilitation centre for injured riders that is currently being built in Malton.
Mr Berry, 76, grew up in Glensdale Grove, Leeds, before becoming an accomplished racehorse trainer who had the privilege of training Sir Alex’s very first winner when Queensland Star prevailed at Newmarket 1998.
Famous for his lucky red shirts – the tradition dates back to a race meeting in Ayr when Mr Berry bought a red shirt and promptly rode a winner the next day – he is a lifelong Leeds United fan.
“There are some people brought up the wrong way!” joked Sir Alex. “There is a great rivalry between Leeds United and Manchester United. It’s a shame that there was a lot of chippiness between the fans, but I would like to see Leeds United back in the Premier League. They are a big club and it is sad to see what is happening.
“People take on charities and commitments and they last two or three years. He’s been going 50 years and The House That Jack Built will be so special... what a man. A first-class man. An inspiration.”