Fergie retires: tributes flood in for 'world's best manager'

Footballers and politicians heap praise on Man United's 'unforgettable' manager

Alex Ferguson retires

AFTER 27 years at the helm of Manchester United, Alex Ferguson today announced his retirement. Footballers, managers and politicians paid tribute to "the best manager that ever lived". Twitter went into a frenzy: in the first hour after the announcement, the story had been mentioned more than 1.4 million times on the site and #ThankYouSirAlex was Twitter’s number one global trend within eight minutes of the club’s first tweet. Here are some of the tributes: David Gill, Manchester United's outgoing chief executive: "I’ve had the tremendous pleasure of working very closely with Alex for 16 unforgettable years – through the Treble, the double, countless trophy wins and numerous signings... Alex’s vision, energy and ability have built teams – both on and off the pitch – that his successor can count on as among the best and most loyal in world sport." The Glazer family, owners of the club: "Alex has proven time and time again what a fantastic manager he is but he’s also a wonderful person. His determination to succeed and dedication to the club have been truly remarkable." Vincent Company, club captain, tweeted: "Sir Alex, one of the best managers of all time. After 26 years of success in the game, we all owe him a tribute."

David Cameron tweeted: "Sir Alex Ferguson’s achievement at #MUFC has been exceptional. Hopefully his retirement will make life a little easier for my team #AVFC" Michael Owen, former Manchester United striker: "It's just not sinking in! Manchester United with no Sir Alex just doesn't feel right. What a man and great that it has ended on his terms."

Ed Miliband tweeted: "Proud man. Great manager. Staunch Labour Party supporter. Sir Alex Ferguson will never be forgotten." Sir Alex Ferguson, in his retirement statement, said: "It was important to me to leave an organisation in the strongest possible shape and I believe I have done so... 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... To the fans, thank you. The support you have provided over the years has been truly humbling."

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