And the Govan boy took them to Glasgow.
The city of his birth was invoked as the former Manchester United manager told of how his principles of tolerance on race and religion were formed and why he had twice turned down the post of manager of the England national team.
Sir Alex, addressing a packed press conference in London to mark the publication of his autobiography, revealed with a smile that he did not take the England job because he could not have returned to Glasgow.
He said he was offered the post on two occasions - in 1999 and 2001 - but he added: "It was my great opportunity in life to relegate them. There is no way I could have taken the job."
Sir Alex said the Football Association approached Martin Edwards, then the chairman of United, but Sir Alex had told him to "just forget it, I am not interested".
"I met Adam Crozier [then chairman of the FA] but it did not take me long to refuse him. Ten seconds. There is no way in a million years I could be a manager of England. Just think of me going back to Scotland, dearie me."
He was also forthright on why he was volubly against racism.
He said: "Education and tolerance is important, your upbringing. We have to find a way of living with one and other easily. I have no issues with it and I have never had any issues with it [intolerance].
"It is how you are brought up. I came from a family with a Protestant father and a Catholic mother and religion was never discussed in the house, never.
"If it can be done in a Protestant-Catholic family in Glasgow it can be done in any family throughout the world."
Sir Alex resigned as United manager in April after 27 years at the club and the 71-year-old talked of the influence his wife, Cathy, had on his career and his decision to retire.
The book is dedicated to "Bridget, Cathy's sister, rock and best friend". The death of Bridget proved the catalyst for his retirement as he decided he should spend more time with his grief-stricken wife.
He said of his wife: "She is an exceptional person. It takes a certain type of person to make sacrifices. Her job has always been to be a wife, a mother and a grandmother. That is what she enjoys most. She brought up the kids when I was running two pubs in Glasgow and St Mirren Football club. She is the big influence in the family."
Sir Alex fielded questions from journalists from Australia, China, Japan, Italy, Spain and Hungary, with English reporters keen to hear his views on Wayne Rooney.
He maintained that the English striker had asked for a move from Manchester United, an assertion Rooney has repeatedly denied.
The book also details his rows with players, most notably David Beckham and Roy Keane.
Sir Alex said that Beckham's marriage to Victoria, then in the Spice Girls, had adversely affected the player's career and that Keane had to leave the club after criticising his fellow players.
Sir Alex emphasised: "You must have the personality to deal with top sports people. You cannot be intimidated by their status."
It was an example of the clan motto that this famous Ferguson invoked: "Stronger after difficulties." It was the theme of the Govan boy's address to the world yesterday.