Ferguson, 66, said: "I can't believe I have been in the game 50 years now.
"In those early years I was never quite sure where I was going to go. But that's life."
The most successful manager in British football history knows things might been very different had he taken up a tempting opportunity to emigrate.
He explained: "I was 21, playing part-time football for Dunfermline and on the point of emigrating to Canada, where my father's family was to take up the tool-making trade.
"I had done my apprenticeship and, at that time, tool-making was a great trade in Canada and well paid. It was a great country.
"But then things changed. That is fate."