In 1984, Manchester United had shown a great deal of interest in the skillful star - with Ron Atkinson spending £500,000 to take him to Old Trafford
The Scot's time with the Red Devils was nowhere near as decorated, with only an FA Cup winners' medal to show for his efforts.
He would, however, be reunited with Ferguson when the manager also made the move from Aberdeen to Manchester in 1986. While at first this appeared to
be the perfect reunion, their relationship eventually turned sour and Strachan hopped across the Pennines to join Leeds United in 1989.
It was at Elland Road that Strachan found himself rejuvenated under Howard Wilkinson's revolution, and in his first season he would help the club to
the old Second Division title and earn a return to the top flight.
Two years later, at the age of 35, Leeds captain Strachan had added the '92 championship to his list of playing honours and was named the Footballer
of the Year - becoming the only player to win the award on both sides of the border.
While his club career was highly successful, Strachan also enjoyed a lengthy international career with Scotland. He played in the 1982 and 1986 World
Cups, and won his 50th and final cap against Finland in 1992.
Strachan's playing career would finally draw to a close when reunited with Atkinson at Coventry City, who he joined on a free transfer in March 1995.
His new beginning in management would also be at Highfield Road.
He became assistant manager upon arrival at Coventry, and by November 1996 Atkinson had been moved upstairs into the now much-maligned 'director of
football' role with Strachan taking a more hands on role.
Strachan soon emerged as a real character on the touchline and in the press room with his dry wit - rarely afraid to show emotion or speak his mind.
Coventry just managed to avoid relegation in his first season at the helm. Only a last-day victory at Tottenham Hotspur saved them from life in the
First Division and sent Middlesbrough down in their place.
The following season, however, he looked to be getting things right. The Sky Blues were guided to an 11th-place finish in 1997 - equaling their best
ever finish in the Premiership - followed by placings of 15th and 14th.
But it all went pear shaped for the pint-sized boss in the 2000/01 season, when Coventry City's 34-year stay in the top flight of English football
would come to an end after winning just eight games all season.
Many thought Strachan should have been replaced there and then, but chairman Bryan Richardson was determined to give Strachan the chance to put things
right. But a poor start to life in the First Division spelt the end for his five-year tenure and he left the club in September 2001 after a 1-0 defeat
at the hands of Grimsby Town.
Strachan, however, was only out of work for six weeks. Southampton had endured a torrid start to the season under Stuart Gray, who was eventually
sacked in October and within days Strachan had found himself a new challenge.
The mere fact that Strachan guided the side to safety was his first major achievement, but he would eventually lead them to a finish of 11th. The
2002/03 season, however, would see the manager guide the Saints into the top half of the table and a place in the FA Cup final.
Southampton eventually finished eighth in the table, a position that could arguably have been bettered had they not had the distraction of the FA Cup.
The Saints lose 1-0 to Arsenal in the final, but qualified for the UEFA Cup - their first European campaign since the 1984/85 season.
Strachan, who was named Manager of the Month for December, has transformed a side known as perennial strugglers into European competitors.
The 2003/04 season would see Strachan's career take a new direction. For weeks he was linked with a return to Elland Road with crisis club Leeds
United, and with his Saints contract up at the end of the campaign it looked a real possible.
After what seemed like an age of silence from St Mary's on the matter, Strachan eventually denied that he would make the move back up to West
Yorkshire. But, just two months later, he would announce that he was to leave Southampton.