Wednesday 08 May 2013
Manchester United have announced that manager Sir Alex Ferguson will retire in the summer after more than 26 years at Old Trafford.
Ferguson took charge at Old Trafford in November 1986 and led the club to extraordinary success. Last week they claimed their 13th Barclays Premier League title. The club have also won two UEFA Champions League trophies, five FA Cups as well as a famous treble in 1999.
His last home match in charge will be on Sunday when his side take on Swansea City while his tenure will draw to a close with the visit to West Bromwich Albion on 19 May. The 71-year-old will then join the club's board as a director.
"It was important to me to leave an organisation in the strongest possible shape"
Sir Alex Ferguson
"The decision to retire is one that I have thought a great deal about and one that I have not taken lightly," Ferguson said in a statement. "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.
"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. 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, a former Rangers striker, has also managed East Stirling, St Mirren and Aberdeen and won a total of 11 trophies in Scotland, including the European Cup Winners' Cup in 1983.
After joining United in 1986, Ferguson ended the club's long wait for a league title when they won the first Barclays Premier League crown in 1992/93.
United never looked back as Ferguson led the club to an extraordinary era of dominance over the last two decades. He is the most successful manager in English football history, winning a total of 38 trophies with Manchester United, and he was quick to praise the people that have helped him during his career.
"It has been an honour and an enormous privilege to have had the opportunity to lead your club"
Sir Alex Ferguson
"I must pay tribute to my family, their love and support has been essential," he said. "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.
"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.
"To the fans, thank you. The support you have provided over the years has been truly humbling. 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."
To read Sir Alex Ferguson's career timeline, click here >>
Barclays Premier League: 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2013
FA Cup: 1990, 1994, 1996, 1999, 2004
League Cup: 1992, 2006, 2009, 2010
UEFA Champions League: 1999, 2008
UEFA Cup-Winners Cup: 1991
FIFA Club World Cup: 2008
UEFA Super Cup: 1992
Inter-Continental Cup: 1999
FA Charity/Community Shield: 1990 (shared), 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997, 2003, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011