Sir Alex Ferguson took time out of his busy schedule on Saturday to visit Swansea University to see its extensive collection of over 3,000 books about the American Civil War, generously donated to the American Studies programme by a private collector, Alan Milne.

Jon Roper, Professor of American Studies, invited the famous Manchester United manager to the University when he discovered that Sir Alex has a long-standing fascination with the Civil War and a wide-ranging knowledge of American history.

Professor Roper said: “Sir Alex is extremely interested and knowledgeable about the War and the personalities involved in it, including President Abraham Lincoln, and Generals such as Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant. It was our privilege to have him visit this major research archive in American Studies”.

Sir Alex Ferguson

Sir Alex spent an hour at the University’s library and saw for himself the collection of precious books, including rare first editions. He talked about the subject with Dr. David Anderson, lecturer in American Studies and a specialist in this area. He also met a number of American Studies students at the University.

Sir Alex was particularly interested in a book that recounts the story of two brothers from Scotland who fought on opposing sides during the War. He also commented how impressed he was with the collection.

Sir Alex Ferguson - group

Raymond Ciborowski, Registrar and Head of Administration and Huw Morris, Academic Registrar – both Swansea City fans – were also present and took the opportunity to quiz the UK’s most successful football manager about Swansea’s prospects for survival in the premier league.On his departure, Jon Roper presented Sir Alex with a recent book he has written on the American Presidents.

Unfortunately Sir Alex’s Manchester United team weren’t so kind to Swansea’s football team – they beat them 1-0!