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End of an era: Alex Ferguson retires as Manchester United manager

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Today is a sad day for Manchester United fans and players as Sir Alex Ferguson has announced his retirement after almost 27 years with the club. 

Rumours began on Twitter last night that Ferguson was contemplating retirement after securing the Premiership for a record 13th time and the Scot, considered the greatest football manager ever, confirmed this morning thatFerguson United’s game at West Brom will be his final came in charge of the team.

In a statement released by Man Utd’s official website, Ferguson said the decision was not taken lightly. 

"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.

"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."

Ferguson will leave behind a legacy that will probably never be matched, amassing an impressive 50 title wins throughout his managerial career that includes multiple Premiership titles, FA, Carling and of course the two Champions League titles won in 1999 and 2008. The 71-year-old also thanked the fans for the support they have shown him over the years.

"The support you have provided over the years has been truly humbling," he said. "It has been an honour and an enormous privilege to have had the opportunity to lead your club and I have treasured my time as manager of Manchester United."

As the news broke of the retirement social networking sites have flooded with tributes for the manger. Phil McNulty, BBC Sports reporter was just one of hundreds to share his feelings.

@philmcnulty: “Say what you like about Sir Alex Ferguson - and people do - but we'll never see his like again. A towering figure in football's history.”

It is no doubt both a historic day in football paired along with sadness, but now begins the search for Ferguson's replacement.  Hot favourites include Everton manager David Moyes, former Chelsea manger Jose Mourinho and current player Ryan Giggs. Paddy Power have Jose at even to take the helm and Moyes second at 5/4 odds.

All is not doom and gloom for United fans and players as Ferguson will be taking over the Club Director and Ambassador role.




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