David Owen: Will football’s loss be horseracing’s gain?

News of Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement brought to mind two scenes nearly three decades apart.

In the first, it is 11 May 1983 and I am with friends clustered around the TV in a cramped London apartment.

A strong Scottish contingent is hoping to witness a miracle: the humbling of Real Madrid by Ferguson’s new kids on the block from Aberdeen, a side built around the indefatigable Gordon Strachan and the formidable centre-back pairing of Alex McLeish and Willie Miller.

Scarcely believably, the miracle happens, thanks to a 112th minute winner from sub John Hewitt.

Fergie is on the map.

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