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Thousands say farewell to Sir Alex

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Manchester United players and manager Sir Alex Ferguson (right) celebrate on stage in Albert Square

Manchester United players and manager Sir Alex Ferguson (right) celebrate on stage in Albert Square

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Fans climb on to the branches of a tree as crowds gather in Albert Square, Manchester, to celebrate the Red Devils' league victory

Fans climb on to the branches of a tree as crowds gather in Albert Square, Manchester, to celebrate the Red Devils' league victory

EMPICS Sport

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Manchester United players and manager Sir Alex Ferguson (right) celebrate on stage in Albert Square

Thousands of Manchester United fans painted the town red to say farewell to legendary manager Sir Alex Ferguson.

Sir Alex retires after Sunday but he was very much in charge of festivities as the team paraded the league trophy from Old Trafford into the centre of Manchester.

Sir Matt Busby Way, where the parade began, had to be closed as it reached its 20,000 capacity as rain that had belted down in the hours before the parade eased off.

The 71-year-old, who has led United to huge success over 26 years, took the microphone to address the United faithful gathered outside the Theatre of Dreams.

Speaking about the warm send-off he got at his last home game - a 2-1 win over Swansea - Sir Alex said: "Yesterday (Sunday) was a day I will never forget. I thank you for that."

And he also took a final pop at Liverpool FC, urging United fans to turn out and support the club tomorrow for an Under-21 encounter between the two arch-rivals at Old Trafford.

"We play that mob across the road - I hope some of you cheer the young lads on."

As the players celebrated Sir Alex's 13th league title and the club's 20th, the manager sang with them from the top of a double-decker emblazoned with the hashtag #ThankYou SirAlex

Ryan Giggs, who has played a part in virtually all the Scot's 38 trophies, said he was happy the boss was leaving with yet another piece of coveted silverware to his name.

"It has been tough, especially for the players who have known him for a long time," he said. "We are delighted that we were able to end on a high and won the league in his last.


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