Posted by News Express | 13 May 2013 | 3,965 times
It’s always said that it’s best to quit when the ovation is loudest but not everybody knows how to do that. Well, the inimitable Sir Alex Ferguson certainly knows how to do that and so he did yesterday when he bowed out on a high note as he received an emotional farewell at Old Trafford.
The stadium was a flood of red flags which stated simply ‘Champions 2013’ – Manchester United having won the 2013 Premiership weeks earlier and playing the end-of-season game against Swansea as a matter of formality. Even so, the players made sure that Sir Alex – perhaps the world’s most successful football club coach – was sent off on a victorious note, beating the Swans 2-1.
When the final whistle came, Sir Alex was smiling broadly, then shaking the hands of backroom staff and fans as he strode on to the pitch.
Then came the long goodbye as the Scot gave his farewell speech, warning he was close to “blubbing” and describing his 26 years as boss as “the most fantastic experience of my life.”
Making a strong case for his successor, Everton’s David Moyes, Sir Alex said: “I would also like to remind you that when there were bad times here the club stood by me, all of my staff stood by me and the players stood by me. Your job now is to stand by our new manager.”
Fergie, dressed in a dark overcoat with a jumper zipped up to his neck, gave his speech, which he said was unscripted, with his left hand in his pocket.
“My retirement doesn’t mean the end of my time at the club. I will be joining you and suffering!” he said.
“The last-minute goals, the comebacks and even the defeats are all part of this great, unbelievable club. It has been an unbelievable experience and I want to say thank you for that.”
The electronic board to show substitutions had cleverly been programmed to show 26 and 38 – 26 for Fergie’s years at the club, 38 for his trophies, 13 of them the Premier League one which was presented following his speech.
In a moment that might as well live forever in football history, 71 years old Sir Fergie, all smiles and gumchewing as he is famously known to do, did a jig with his players as he lifted the trophy after the game.
And thus ended the Fergie era. When next season blasts off in August, it will be Moyes, not Fergie, who’ll be in charge. The good old Fergie who is now a Manchester United Director and Ambassador, will only be watching from the stands, less the stifling tension associated with coaching.
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