Sir Alex Ferguson hails Eric Harrison as 'one of the greatest coaches'
Harrison was in charge of Manchester United academy that produced Class of '92
By Sky Sports News
Last Updated: 14/02/19 9:31am
Sir Alex Ferguson has paid tribute to former Manchester United youth team manager Eric Harrison, describing him as "one of the greatest coaches of our time".
Harrison, who was diagnosed with mixed dementia four years ago, died on Wednesday night at the age of 81.
The former Halifax and Barrow winger joined United in 1981 as youth team coach and was in charge of the club's academy when it produced the Class of '92.
Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, David Beckham and Gary Neville were among the players to graduate from the academy during that period and Ferguson says Harrison played a major role in the success of the club.
Sir Alex Ferguson pays tribute to Eric Harrison:— Manchester United (@ManUtd) February 14, 2019
“Eric's contribution to football and not just at Manchester United was incredible. When I came as manager I was lucky enough to have Eric on the staff as head of youth development.” pic.twitter.com/sGBzRxMmtO
"Eric's contribution to football and not just at Manchester United was incredible," said Ferguson.
"When I came as manager, I was lucky enough to have Eric on the staff as head of youth development, so I got to see the work he did and not just with the Class of '92 but with all the young players.
"He built character and determination in those young players and prepared them for the future.
"He was a teacher, he gave these players a path, a choice and he only did that through his own hard work and sacrifice.
"He was able to impart that education to the young which made him one of the greatest coaches of our time."
Harrison also spent four years as Wales assistant manager under Mark Hughes and was awarded an MBE for his services to football in the Queen's New Year Honours list in 2018.
Manchester United offered their condolences to Harrison's family in a statement on Thursday, which read: "We are extremely saddened to report that our former youth coach Eric Harrison passed away last night.
"Our thoughts and prayers go out to Eric's family and friends at this sad and difficult time."