Man United’s Sir Alex Ferguson set to retire at the end of the season

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of the season after a 26-year reign at Old Trafford

sir alex ferguson
Sir Alex Ferguson has led Man United to 13 Premier League titles Photo: The Sport Review

Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of the season after a 26-year reign at Manchester United.

The 71-year-old has won a staggering 38 trophies since replacing Ron Atkinson at Old Trafford in 1986, including two Champions League titles and his 13th Premier League crown this season.

“The decision to retire is one that I have thought a great deal about and one that I have not taken lightly. It is the right time,” Ferguson told United’s website.

“It was important to me to leave an organisation in the strongest possible shape and I believe I have done so. The quality of this league winning squad, and the balance of ages within it, bodes well for continued success at the highest level whilst the structure of the youth set-up will ensure that the long-term future of the club remains a bright one.

“Our training facilities are amongst the finest in global sport and our home Old Trafford is rightfully regarded as one of the leading venues in the world.

He added: “As for my players and staff, past and present, I would like to thank them all for a staggering level of professional conduct and dedication that has helped to deliver so many memorable triumphs. Without their contribution the history of this great club would not be as rich.

“In my early years, the backing of the board, and Sir Bobby Charlton in particular, gave me the confidence and time to build a football club, rather than just a football team.

“Over the past decade, the Glazer family have provided me with the platform to manage Manchester United to the best of my ability and I have been extremely fortunate to have worked with a talented and trustworthy Chief Executive in David Gill. I am truly grateful to all of them.”

Ferguson will take up a role as a club director and club ambassador when he steps down later this month, with Everton manager David Moyes the current favourite to succeed the Red Devils boss in the summer.

“Going forward, I am delighted to take on the roles of both Director and Ambassador for the club. With these activities, along with my many other interests, I am looking forward to the future,” Ferguson added.

“I must pay tribute to my family, their love and support has been essential. My wife Cathy has been the key figure throughout my career, providing a bedrock of both stability and encouragement. Words are not enough to express what this has meant to me.”

Sir Alex Ferguson fact-file

• Ferguson shot to prominence at Aberdeen, breaking the big Glasgow clubs’ 14-year stranglehold on the Scottish title in 1980.

• He claimed a first continental title three years later when the Dons beat Real Madrid CF to lift the European Cup Winners’ Cup – earning him the freedom of the City of Aberdeen.

• The 71-year-old replaced Ron Atkinson at Old Trafford in November 1986, and ended United’s 26-year wait for a league title in 1993. Has since added 12 more championships − including the Red Devils’ record 20th English crown in 2012/13 − to a domestic collection which includes five FA Cups and four League Cups.

• He guided United to European Cup Winners’ Cup glory with victory against FC Barcelona in 1991, though his greatest achievements are the Champions League triumphs of 1999 and 2008. He also reached Champions League finals in 2009 and 2011, losing to Barça on each occasion.

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