Sir Alex Ferguson Retiresby Jack Kitson / 08 May 2013, 09:41Tweet
The legendary Sir Alex Ferguson has decided to retire from Manchester United at the end of the season following a simply phenomenal 26 years at Old Trafford. The iconic boss, who is the most successful in English history, has finally decided to draw the curtains on his managerial career and will now take up a director role at the club.
Since his appointment in 1986 Ferguson has completely transformed the fortunes of United, propelling them from contenders to the biggest club in not only England but world football. The Scot has led the Red Devils to a staggering 13 Premier League titles, two Champions League trophies, five FA Cups and four League cups to name a few, with a plethora of individual honours also to his name.
On Tuesday bookmakers slashed the odds of Everton boss David Moyes in the Next Man Utd Manager Market leading to speculation that Fergie was set to retire earlier than expected. The rumours spread like wildfire with only a few select people in the know. However, this morning (Wednesday) the club have confirmed that the 71-year-old will step down.
Sky Bet have reacted by significantly cutting Jose Mourinho's odds from 25/1 to just evens as the Real Madrid boss becomes the new favourite in the betting. Moyes remains in the mix at 6/5, while other names to look out for include Borussia Dortmund boss Jurgen Klopp and United legend's Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ryan Giggs.
Ferguson leaves an amazing legacy at Old Trafford after 26 years in charge and if the game back in the late 80s and early 90s was as cut throat as it is now, it is hard to imagine that Fergie would have made it to his sixth year in charge, the time it took to win his first Premier League title!
After taking charge of the club in November 1986, Sir Alex had to wait over three years for his first taste of silverware with the FA Cup in 1990, the first of his 25 major domestic honours at the Red Devils. There's even the famous story that the Scot was due to be sacked before a Mark Robins goal in an FA Cup tie against Nottingham Forest en route to victory in 1990 gave him a stay of execution that was to last over 22 years!
Victory over Barcelona in the European Cup Winners Cup 12 months later followed by a League Cup victory in 1992 was just the beginning as the first Premier League title would follow in 1993. That was to be the catalyst for a period of domination from Manchester United that still exists to this day. A further 12 Premier League titles have followed along with another four FA Cup wins and three more League Cup victories.
However, the crowning glory during Ferguson's Old Trafford tenure came in 1999 when his side came from a goal down in stoppage time against Bayern Munich to win the Champions League, the club's first since 1968! He followed that up with victory over Chelsea in the 2008 final and made the final in 2011 when they were beaten by Barcelona.
Ferguson steps down as arguably the most decorated manager in English football history. Love him or loathe him, what he has achieved has to be acknowledged and football in England will not be the same without him.