Cathy first met Sir Alex, 81, in 1964 when he was just 23 years old and they married shortly after in 1966.
In his autobiography, Sir Alex wrote: “I had the good fortune to meet a wonderful girl who has been my rock for almost 50 years.”
The pair have three sons together – Mark, born in 1968, and twin boys football manager Darren and Jason, born in 1972 – and 12 grandchildren.
Commenting on their home life, Alex once said: “Cathy is fantastic with the kids.
“It’s a military operation with her. If any of them misbehave, they’re in the doghouse.”
Cathy stood by Sir Alex throughout his playing career and journey to management.
There were claims that Ferguson suffered discrimination at Rangers between 1967 to 1969 due to his wife’s Catholicism.
However he made it clear in his autobiography that the club knew of her religion.
She was by Sir Alex’s side as he rose to become one of the world’s best managers, starting at St Mirren in the 1970s, then to Aberdeen in the 1980s, where he won the Cup Winners’ Cup, and then to his legendary reign as manager of Manchester united from 1986 to 2013.
When Sir Alex initially wanted to retire in 2002, Cathy famously convinced him to remain in charge of the Red Devils.
“One, your health is good,” Sir Alex claimed Cathy said.
“Two, I’m not having you in the house. And three, you’re too young anyway.”
But she was unable persuade her husband to recommit to Old Trafford in 2011, before he finally retired in 2013.
“I won’t be managing here any more than three years at the very, very most. Without question. I can assure you of that,” Ferguson said at the time.
“You have to think about time for yourself. I think my wife deserves a bit of my time, too. The older you get, the more you feel guilty about it.
“My wife, Cathy, was the one who talked me out of retiring last time but she wouldn’t do that now.”
Ferguson went on to retire two years later saying his wife needed his support after her sister died.