Ferguson Lifts Premier League trophy on Old Trafford Farewell
Sir Alex Ferguson with the Premier League trophy
Sir Alex Ferguson marked his final match as manager of Manchester United at Old Trafford by lifting the Premier League trophy on behalf of his team.
United and Ferguson won their 13th Premier League title and it is the club’s 20th championship in total.
The Red Devils secured the crown with victory over Aston Villa on 22 April but collected the trophy after Sunday’s 2-1 win against Swansea, reports the BBC.
Ferguson retires after United’s last match of the season at West Brom.
He will be succeeded by Everton boss David Moyes, who is to take over on a six-year contract from 1 July.
“Fantastic, what a send off,” said Ferguson after leaving the pitch.
“I was bubbling there for a bit. All those flags, the atmosphere today was unbelievable the whole game. I’m proud of my fans today.”
Ferguson received a guard of honour from both sets of players at he walked out in pouring rain before the match.
In his 1,499th game as United manager, the 71-year-old’s side took the lead through Mexican striker Javier Hernandez.
Spanish forward Michu equalised for Swansea before United defender Rio Ferdinand won the match three minutes before full-time.
After the final whistle, Ferguson was handed a microphone and addressed the 75,572 sell-out crowd.
“I’ve got no script in my mind, I’m just going to ramble on and hope I get to the core of what this club is meant to be,” he said.
“First of all, it’s a thank you to Manchester United; not just the directors, not just the medical staff, the coaching staff, the players, the supporters, it’s all of you. You have been the most fantastic experience of my life.
“I have been very fortunate. I have been able to manage some of the greatest players in the country, let alone Manchester United.
“My retirement doesn’t mean the end of my life with the club. I will now be able to enjoy watching them rather than suffer with them.
“I’d also like to remind you that when we had bad times here the club stood by me, all my staff stood by me, the players stood by me – your job now is to stand by our new manger. That is important.
“The players, I wish the players every success in the future. You know how good you are, you know the jersey you are wearing, you know what it means to everyone here.
“Don’t let yourselves down. The expectation is always there.”
Ferguson paid tribute to the retiring Paul Scholes and fellow midfielder Darren Fletcher, who is suffering from chronic bowel disease.
The clearly emotional Scot thanked his family and made mention of his 11 grandchildren, all of whom were in attendance.
He left the field before returning with his players to raise the trophy and take part in prolonged celebrations on the pitch.
Ferguson walked back down the tunnel for the final time as manager and then gave a series of media interviews.
He confirmed that striker Wayne Rooney, who was not involved in the Swansea match, has handed in a transfer request.
“We have refused it,” Ferguson told CroozeSport. “He should go away and think it over again. He wasn’t happy about being taken off a few times this season – but a Wayne Rooney in top form wouldn’t be taken off.”
Ferguson revealed when his decision to retire was taken and a key reason behind it.
“I decided to retire last Christmas,” said the former St Mirren, Aberdeen and Scotland boss. “Things changed when my wife Cathy’s sister died. She has lost her best friend, her sister. Also, I wanted to go out a winner.
“It was very difficult [not to reveal it]. There were times when we sometimes blurted it out to the family. We told our sons in March. My brother didn’t even know until Tuesday.
“I’ve got a lot of things to do. My son, Jason, has been organising things. I won’t be sitting still.”
Ferguson added that his most important achievement was the first league title with United in 1993. “The door opened after that. We just grew and grew and grew. We had some fantastic teams.”