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Man Utd's Ferguson gives Ternent character reference

Sir Alex Ferguson trusts ex-Burnley boss Stan Ternent 'with his life', a court heard today.

Jurors at Lancaster Crown Court today heard a witness statement from the Manchester United manager at Ternent's trial for an alleged headbut assault on Greg Wilson at Burnley Cricket Club.

The 61-year-old was upset talking about the toll the trial has taken on him and his family.

He said: "It's been hard. It has been difficult, not just for me, for my family and everyone around me."

In the statement, Sir Alex said he had known Ternent and his wife Cathy since he came to Manchester 20 years ago when he took up the post at United.

Sir Alex said: "Over the years we have become great friends and colleagues through the clubs we managed and Stan often helped me with games when I had players coming back from injury.

"Stan is one of the most honest and direct people I have ever come across in the football game.

"He has always been forthright and sometimes blunt, but I like that sort of person and Stan is one person I would trust with my life.

"Knowing Stan the way I do I would expect him to defend himself but I do not believe he is a violent individual. He is definitely not an aggressor."

The court also heard a character reference from Gordon Taylor, Chief Executive of the Professional Footballers' Association.

He said Stan was a very highly regarded professional and had been delighted to see his success as a football manager.

He said: "In fact we were instrumental in providing financial help to Bury Football Club in order for them to recruit Mr Ternent.

"That faith in him was more than justified with the success he brought to the club. His reputation in Burnley is second to none."

He denies the attack and claimed he acted in self defence.

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