The former Everton manager was signed up as his compatriot’s successor at Old Trafford but the 50-year-old had to keep his appointment secret until the Red Devils legend confirmed that he was calling time on a 26-year career.
And Moyes revealed how tough he found keeping his new job quiet until the end of the season.
“The period at the end of the season was the hardest. I was preparing for our match against Liverpool on the Sunday, knowing that if things went well we would have a great chance of finishing above them,” Moyes told the Daily Star.
“Then on the Thursday of that week I got the call. I was shopping with my wife when Sir Alex rang.
“It had been my 50th birthday the previous week and my wife had bought me a watch. It needed a link taking out and we were in Altrincham.
“Sir Alex called and said, Where are you? Can you drop round to myself? We were having lunch and I told her I had to go and see Sir Alex – he obviously wanted to sign one of my players at Everton, or he had a player who he was prepared to let me have on loan.
“I was wearing jeans and a t-shirt. I would never normally go to his house dressed like that. I dropped my wife off at Cheadle Royal shopping centre and headed to Sir Alex’s home in Wilmslow.
“He took me upstairs, made me a cup of tea then said, I’m retiring next week and you are the next manager of Manchester United.
“He then said I could tell only one person – my wife. I couldn’t even tell my kids, that’s how big a secret it was.”