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Sir Alex Ferguson Announces Retirement

Manchester, Greater Manchester The 8th of May 2013 AD

Even for Alex Ferguson extra time only goes on so long. Having announced in 2001 that he would leave when his contract expired the following year, then putting in place a plan to retire in 2005, he changed his mind on both occasions and continued until the end of the 2013 season. In all he was in charge for 1500 competitive matches, winning some 38 trophies including the big one – the Champions League – twice, in 1999 and 2008.

Alex Ferguson 's retirement was announced before the end of the season but with Manchester United having already won the Premier League a fortnight previously there was no danger of his departure – from the role but not the club – upsetting the squad. And that squad looked formidable still, with Wilfried Zaha the 104th and last player signed by him another symbol of United’s desire to win with attacking football.

Love him or loathe him, the roll of honour is impressive. After Man United had gone 26 seasons without winning the league title his astute purchase of Eric Cantona, the spark that ignited not just the team but the support, saw them in 1992-93 win the first of what would eventually be 13 league titles during his tenure, to which five FA Cup wins and the two Champions League titles have to be added. And if anyone thinks it was only Manchester United’s deep pockets that brought success consider his time with former clubs – Aberdeen in particular where for a time he ended the near duopoly of Celtic and Rangers , the club winning three top-flight titles with Ferguson at the helm.

Sport provides strange dramas. Fergie’s last game in charge was perhaps his least characteristic, his side twice squandering three goal leads, the second surrendered in the last 10 minutes of the match against West Brom . The score was 5 – 5. An extraordinary end to an extraordinary career.

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