To Manchester United fans he is a god and little wonder, given his success with the club. Alex Ferguson's reputation as the greatest manager in British football history is assured. His boots will be impossible to fill.
He was unbending in his principles, but both willing and able to adapt to the demands of the modern game.
And he was also a good friend to football here, being a big supporter of the Milk Cup youth tournament and bringing his triple-winning team here to raise funds in the wake of the Omagh bomb atrocity.
His retirement truly is the ending of an era.