Manchester United FC manager Sir Alex Ferguson has announced that he will retire at the end of the season after 35-year coaching career and 26 years in charge at Old Trafford.
Sir Alex, 71, was named United manager on 6 November 1986 and has guided the club to two UEFA Champions League triumphs, a European Cup Winners’ Cup, a UEFA Super Cup, 13 Premier League titles, five FA Cups and four League Cups. "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," said Sir Alex, who led the club to the treble in 1999.
Before his tenure at Old Trafford Sir Alex was manager at Aberdeen FC where he led them to the 1982/83 European Cup Winners' Cup, the 1983 UEFA Super Cup as well as three Scottish Premier League titles and four Scottish Cups, as well as leading Scotland on a caretaker basis in the 1986 FIFA World Cup in Mexico after the death of Jock Stein. He had previously managed East Stirlingshire FC and Saint Mirren FC having played as a forward for Queen's Park FC, Saint Johnstone FC, Dunfermline Athletic FC, Rangers FC, Falkirk FC and Ayr United FC.
"It was important to me to leave an organisation in the strongest possible shape and I believe I have done so," Sir Alex said. "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.
The United manager continued: "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.
"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.
"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."
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