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What now for retiring Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson?

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(FILE PHOTO) Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has announced that he will retire at the end of the season after 26 years in charge. Undated:  Portrait of Manchester United Manager Alex Ferguson \ Mandatory Credit: Allsport  UK/Allsport

(FILE PHOTO) Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has announced that he will retire at the end of the season after 26 years in charge. Undated: Portrait of Manchester United Manager Alex Ferguson \ Mandatory Credit: Allsport UK/Allsport

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File photo dated 01/09/2004 of Manchester United's new signing Wayne Rooney (r) and manager Sir Alex Ferguson pose with his shirt. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Gareth Copley/PA Wire.

File photo dated 01/09/2004 of Manchester United's new signing Wayne Rooney (r) and manager Sir Alex Ferguson pose with his shirt. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Gareth Copley/PA Wire.

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Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has announced that he will retire at the end of the season after 26 years in charge

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has announced that he will retire at the end of the season after 26 years in charge

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File photo dated 11/05/2008 of Manchester United players are lead out by manager Alex Ferguson to collect their trophy following the Barclays Premier League match at JJB Stadium, Wigan

File photo dated 11/05/2008 of Manchester United players are lead out by manager Alex Ferguson to collect their trophy following the Barclays Premier League match at JJB Stadium, Wigan

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Shivd Hawan from Manchester outside Old Trafford on the day Sir Alex Ferguson announces his retires from management

Shivd Hawan from Manchester outside Old Trafford on the day Sir Alex Ferguson announces his retires from management

File photo dated 06/04/2009 of Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo with manager Sir Alex Ferguson during a press conference at Carrington Training Ground, Manchester

File photo dated 06/04/2009 of Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo with manager Sir Alex Ferguson during a press conference at Carrington Training Ground, Manchester

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General view of Old Trafford on the day Sir Alex Ferguson announces his retires from management

General view of Old Trafford on the day Sir Alex Ferguson announces his retires from management

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Shivd Hawan from Manchester outside Old Trafford on the day Sir Alex Ferguson announces his retires from management

Shivd Hawan from Manchester outside Old Trafford on the day Sir Alex Ferguson announces his retires from management

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File photo dated 19/04/2009 of Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson (left) vents his frustration towards fourth official Alan Wiley (right)

File photo dated 19/04/2009 of Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson (left) vents his frustration towards fourth official Alan Wiley (right)

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(FILE PHOTO) Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has announced that he will retire at the end of the season after 26 years in charge. MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 09:  Manchester United Manager Sir Alex Ferguson looks on prior to the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Stoke City at Old Trafford on May 9, 2010 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

(FILE PHOTO) Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has announced that he will retire at the end of the season after 26 years in charge. MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 09: Manchester United Manager Sir Alex Ferguson looks on prior to the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Stoke City at Old Trafford on May 9, 2010 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

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General view of Old Trafford on the day Sir Alex Ferguson announces his retires from management

General view of Old Trafford on the day Sir Alex Ferguson announces his retires from management

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Craig Clark from Manchester outside Old Trafford on the day Sir Alex Ferguson announces his retires from management

Craig Clark from Manchester outside Old Trafford on the day Sir Alex Ferguson announces his retires from management

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File photo dated 06/05/2000 of Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson smiles as his side are crowned FA Carling Premiership Champions. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Phil Noble/PA Wire.

File photo dated 06/05/2000 of Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson smiles as his side are crowned FA Carling Premiership Champions. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Phil Noble/PA Wire.

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File photo dated 07/11/1986 of Manchester United's new manager Alex Ferguson at a press conference at Old Trafford, decked out in his new team's colours. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: PA Wire.

File photo dated 07/11/1986 of Manchester United's new manager Alex Ferguson at a press conference at Old Trafford, decked out in his new team's colours. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: PA Wire.

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(FILE PHOTO) Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has announced that he will retire at the end of the season after 26 years in charge. 15 May 1991:  Portrait of Manchester United Manager Alex Ferguson with the trophy after the European Cup Winners Cup final against Barcelona at the Feyenoord Stadium in Rotterdam, Holland. Manchester United won the match 2-1. \ Mandatory Credit: David  Cannon/Allsport

(FILE PHOTO) Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has announced that he will retire at the end of the season after 26 years in charge. 15 May 1991: Portrait of Manchester United Manager Alex Ferguson with the trophy after the European Cup Winners Cup final against Barcelona at the Feyenoord Stadium in Rotterdam, Holland. Manchester United won the match 2-1. \ Mandatory Credit: David Cannon/Allsport

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File photo dated 11/05/2008 of Manchester United players are lead out by manager Alex Ferguson to collect their trophy following the Barclays Premier League match at JJB Stadium, Wigan. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Dave Thompson/PA Wire.

File photo dated 11/05/2008 of Manchester United players are lead out by manager Alex Ferguson to collect their trophy following the Barclays Premier League match at JJB Stadium, Wigan. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Dave Thompson/PA Wire.

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File photo dated 07/11/1986 of New Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson (hands in pockets) chats to team players during a break in their training session. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: PA Wire.

File photo dated 07/11/1986 of New Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson (hands in pockets) chats to team players during a break in their training session. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: PA Wire.

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File photo dated 17/05/1990 of Manchester United captain Bryan Robson holds up the FA Cup after the presentation by the Duke of Kent following United's 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace in the FA Cup replay at Wembley. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: PA Wire.

File photo dated 17/05/1990 of Manchester United captain Bryan Robson holds up the FA Cup after the presentation by the Duke of Kent following United's 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace in the FA Cup replay at Wembley. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: PA Wire.

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File photo dated 27/05/99 of Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson gives the European Champions League Cup a big kiss in Barcelona, after his team's victory over Bayern Munich at the Nou Camp stadium. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire.

File photo dated 27/05/99 of Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson gives the European Champions League Cup a big kiss in Barcelona, after his team's victory over Bayern Munich at the Nou Camp stadium. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire.

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File photo dated 15/05/2000 of Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson with the Carling  Premiership Trophy and the Carling Manager of the Year Award (left), which he won at the League Managers Association Dinner. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Rui Vieira/PA Wire.

File photo dated 15/05/2000 of Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson with the Carling Premiership Trophy and the Carling Manager of the Year Award (left), which he won at the League Managers Association Dinner. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Rui Vieira/PA Wire.

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File photo dated 22/05/2008 of Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson arrives with the UEFA Champions League Trophy at Manchester Airport. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Dave Thompson/PA Wire.

File photo dated 22/05/2008 of Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson arrives with the UEFA Champions League Trophy at Manchester Airport. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Dave Thompson/PA Wire.

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File photo dated 13/08/1996 of Man Utd Manager Alex Ferguson shows off the Premiership Trophy to the Old Trafford fans before their friendly against Inter Milan. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Dave Kendall/PA Wire.

File photo dated 13/08/1996 of Man Utd Manager Alex Ferguson shows off the Premiership Trophy to the Old Trafford fans before their friendly against Inter Milan. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Dave Kendall/PA Wire.

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File photo dated 08/11/1999 of Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, holds up the plaque as he receives the freedom of the City of Glasgow. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Ben Curtis/PA Wire.

File photo dated 08/11/1999 of Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, holds up the plaque as he receives the freedom of the City of Glasgow. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Ben Curtis/PA Wire.

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File photo dated 01/03/2009 of Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson lifts the trophy as he celebrates winning the Carling Cup Final at Wembley Stadium, London. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire.

File photo dated 01/03/2009 of Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson lifts the trophy as he celebrates winning the Carling Cup Final at Wembley Stadium, London. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire.

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File photo dated 21/05/2008 of Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo is emotional as he celebrates with manager Alex Ferguson and Ryan Giggs, after they won the UEFA Champions League Final. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire.

File photo dated 21/05/2008 of Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo is emotional as he celebrates with manager Alex Ferguson and Ryan Giggs, after they won the UEFA Champions League Final. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire.

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File photo dated 14/05/1986 of Scotland manager Alex Ferguson wished bon voyage by Glasgow Airport staff when they presented him with a mascot as he left with the squad for the World Cup in Mexico. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: PA Wire.

File photo dated 14/05/1986 of Scotland manager Alex Ferguson wished bon voyage by Glasgow Airport staff when they presented him with a mascot as he left with the squad for the World Cup in Mexico. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: PA Wire.

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File photo dated 08/9/1998 of Alex Ferguson relaxes in his office. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Malcolm Croft/PA Wire.

File photo dated 08/9/1998 of Alex Ferguson relaxes in his office. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Malcolm Croft/PA Wire.

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File photo dated 27/05/99 of Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson gives the European Champions League Cup a big kiss in Barcelona, after his team's victory over Bayern Munich at the Nou Camp stadium. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire.

File photo dated 27/05/99 of Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson gives the European Champions League Cup a big kiss in Barcelona, after his team's victory over Bayern Munich at the Nou Camp stadium. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire.

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File photo dated 5/05/2001 of Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson is applauded by his captain Roy Keane, as he lifts the FA Carling Premiership trophy. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Phil Noble/PA Wire.

File photo dated 5/05/2001 of Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson is applauded by his captain Roy Keane, as he lifts the FA Carling Premiership trophy. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Phil Noble/PA Wire.

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File photo dated 16/05/1991 of A wonderful moment for british soccer as sir matt busby, the last manager to lead manchester utd to european glory before alex ferguson, watched his side beat barcelona for the european cup winners cup in rotterdam. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: John Giles/PA Wire.

File photo dated 16/05/1991 of A wonderful moment for british soccer as sir matt busby, the last manager to lead manchester utd to european glory before alex ferguson, watched his side beat barcelona for the european cup winners cup in rotterdam. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: John Giles/PA Wire.

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File photo dated 16/05/1999 of Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson holds aloft the Premiership Trophy as he celebrates Manchester United becoming Champions of the Premiership at Old Trafford. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire.

File photo dated 16/05/1999 of Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson holds aloft the Premiership Trophy as he celebrates Manchester United becoming Champions of the Premiership at Old Trafford. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire.

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File photo dated 07/11/1986 of Manchester United's new manager Alex Ferguson (left) at a press conference at Old Trafford, with chairman Martin Edwards. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: PA Wire.

File photo dated 07/11/1986 of Manchester United's new manager Alex Ferguson (left) at a press conference at Old Trafford, with chairman Martin Edwards. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: PA Wire.

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File photo dated 20/07/1999 of Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson, who received a knighthood from the Queen, during an Investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: PA Wire.

File photo dated 20/07/1999 of Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson, who received a knighthood from the Queen, during an Investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: PA Wire.

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File photo dated 27/05/99 of Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson gives the European Champions League Cup a big kiss in Barcelona, after his team's victory over Bayern Munich at the Nou Camp stadium. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire.

File photo dated 27/05/99 of Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson gives the European Champions League Cup a big kiss in Barcelona, after his team's victory over Bayern Munich at the Nou Camp stadium. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire.

PA

File photo dated 5/05/2001 of Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson is applauded by his captain Roy Keane, as he lifts the FA Carling Premiership trophy. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: John Giles/PA Wire.

File photo dated 5/05/2001 of Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson is applauded by his captain Roy Keane, as he lifts the FA Carling Premiership trophy. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: John Giles/PA Wire.

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File photo dated 08/11/1986 of Manchester United's new manager Alex Ferguson watches from the dugout during United's Division One match away to Oxford United.  Manchester United lost 2-0. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: PA Wire.

File photo dated 08/11/1986 of Manchester United's new manager Alex Ferguson watches from the dugout during United's Division One match away to Oxford United. Manchester United lost 2-0. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: PA Wire.

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File photo dated 15/05/2000 of England manager Kevin Keegan presents Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson with the Carling Manager of the Year Award at the League Managers Association Dinner. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Rui Vieira/PA Wire.

File photo dated 15/05/2000 of England manager Kevin Keegan presents Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson with the Carling Manager of the Year Award at the League Managers Association Dinner. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Rui Vieira/PA Wire.

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File photo dated 22/4/2013 of Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson celebrates winning the league title after the final whistle. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire.

File photo dated 22/4/2013 of Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson celebrates winning the league title after the final whistle. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire.

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File photo dated 05/05/1998 of Jaap Stam signs for Manchester United with Alex Ferguson. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Dave Kendall/PA Wire.

File photo dated 05/05/1998 of Jaap Stam signs for Manchester United with Alex Ferguson. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Dave Kendall/PA Wire.

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File photo dated 23/11/12 of A statue of Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson is unveiled at Old Trafford, Manchester. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire.

File photo dated 23/11/12 of A statue of Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson is unveiled at Old Trafford, Manchester. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire.

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File photo dated 23/04/2011 of Everton manager David Moyes (right) shouts instructions to his team as Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson gestures to the officials regarding the amount of added time, on the touchline. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Anna Gowthorpe/PA Wire.

File photo dated 23/04/2011 of Everton manager David Moyes (right) shouts instructions to his team as Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson gestures to the officials regarding the amount of added time, on the touchline. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Anna Gowthorpe/PA Wire.

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MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 05: Sir Alex Ferguson, manager of Manchester United walks to his seat prior to the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Chelsea at Old Trafford on May 5, 2013 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 05: Sir Alex Ferguson, manager of Manchester United walks to his seat prior to the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Chelsea at Old Trafford on May 5, 2013 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

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File photo dated 10/1/1995 of Manchester United's ?6 million new signing from Newcastle United  Andy Cole (left), pictured at their Old Trafford ground, in Manchester, with the team's manager Alex Ferguson. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Dave Kendall/PA Wire.

File photo dated 10/1/1995 of Manchester United's ?6 million new signing from Newcastle United Andy Cole (left), pictured at their Old Trafford ground, in Manchester, with the team's manager Alex Ferguson. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Dave Kendall/PA Wire.

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(FILE PHOTO) Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has announced that he will retire at the end of the season after 26 years in charge. BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 10: Sir Alex Ferguson of Manchester United walks out during the Barclays Premier League match between Aston Villa and Manchester United at Villa Park on February 10, 2010 in Birmingham, England.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

(FILE PHOTO) Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has announced that he will retire at the end of the season after 26 years in charge. BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 10: Sir Alex Ferguson of Manchester United walks out during the Barclays Premier League match between Aston Villa and Manchester United at Villa Park on February 10, 2010 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

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(FILE PHOTO) Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has announced that he will retire at the end of the season after 26 years in charge. MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 10:  Sir Alex Ferguson the Manchester United manager applauds the fans following his team's 4-1 victory during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Old Trafford on December 10, 2011 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

(FILE PHOTO) Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has announced that he will retire at the end of the season after 26 years in charge. MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 10: Sir Alex Ferguson the Manchester United manager applauds the fans following his team's 4-1 victory during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Old Trafford on December 10, 2011 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

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File photo dated 27/11/1992 of Eric Cantona, Manchester United's new signing, with manager Alex Ferguson. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Malcolm Croft/PA Wire.

File photo dated 27/11/1992 of Eric Cantona, Manchester United's new signing, with manager Alex Ferguson. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Malcolm Croft/PA Wire.

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File photo dated 11/05/2002 of Manchester United's David Beckham (right) with manger Sir Alex Ferguson, after the player signed a new contract to keep him at the club. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire.

File photo dated 11/05/2002 of Manchester United's David Beckham (right) with manger Sir Alex Ferguson, after the player signed a new contract to keep him at the club. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire.

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File photo dated 17/08/2012 of  Manchester United's new signing Robin Van Persie (left) with manager Sir Alex Ferguson following a press conference at Old Trafford, Manchester. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Barrington Coombs/PA Wire.

File photo dated 17/08/2012 of Manchester United's new signing Robin Van Persie (left) with manager Sir Alex Ferguson following a press conference at Old Trafford, Manchester. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Barrington Coombs/PA Wire.

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File photo dated 9/12/2001 of England's David Beckham (L) with his BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award 2001 and Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson with his Lifetime Achievement Award at BBC Television Centre, London. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Toby Melville/PA Wire.

File photo dated 9/12/2001 of England's David Beckham (L) with his BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award 2001 and Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson with his Lifetime Achievement Award at BBC Television Centre, London. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Toby Melville/PA Wire.

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File photo dated 21/05/2008 of Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson with the trophy after the UEFA Champions League Final at the Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire.

File photo dated 21/05/2008 of Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson with the trophy after the UEFA Champions League Final at the Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire.

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File photo dated 22/4/2013 of Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson celebrates winning the league title after the final whistle. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire.

File photo dated 22/4/2013 of Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson celebrates winning the league title after the final whistle. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire.

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File photo dated 03/11/1978 of Alex Ferguson in Glasgow making history as the first football club manager to take his sacking to an industrial tribunal claiming unfair dismissal. Alex Ferguson lost his job as manager at Scottish Premier League club St Mirren in May, but is currently at Aberdeen. St Mirren chairman William Scott told the tribunal Mr Ferguson had been sacked for the 'improper carrying out of his duties'. St Mirren won the case. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: PA Wire.

File photo dated 03/11/1978 of Alex Ferguson in Glasgow making history as the first football club manager to take his sacking to an industrial tribunal claiming unfair dismissal. Alex Ferguson lost his job as manager at Scottish Premier League club St Mirren in May, but is currently at Aberdeen. St Mirren chairman William Scott told the tribunal Mr Ferguson had been sacked for the 'improper carrying out of his duties'. St Mirren won the case. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: PA Wire.

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File photo dated 22/05/1999 of Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson lifts the FA Cup following his sides 2-0 victory over Newcastle United in the FA Cup final at Wembley. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire.

File photo dated 22/05/1999 of Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson lifts the FA Cup following his sides 2-0 victory over Newcastle United in the FA Cup final at Wembley. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire.

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File photo dated 05/11/2011 of Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson with Chief Executive David Gill. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013.  See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire.

File photo dated 05/11/2011 of Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson with Chief Executive David Gill. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire.

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File photo dated 21/05/2008 of Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson runs onto the pitch to congratulate Cristiano Ronaldo with Gary Neville (left)PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire.

File photo dated 21/05/2008 of Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson runs onto the pitch to congratulate Cristiano Ronaldo with Gary Neville (left)PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire.

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File photo dated 22/04/2012 of Manchester United's manager Sir Alex Ferguson and Everton's manager David Moyes laugh with the fourth official. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire.

File photo dated 22/04/2012 of Manchester United's manager Sir Alex Ferguson and Everton's manager David Moyes laugh with the fourth official. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire.

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File photo dated 04/04/1996 of Manchester United's Alex Ferguson and Eric Cantona celebrating in Manchester after winning the Carling's Manager of the Month and Player of the Month respectively.  PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Peter Wilcox/PA Wire.

File photo dated 04/04/1996 of Manchester United's Alex Ferguson and Eric Cantona celebrating in Manchester after winning the Carling's Manager of the Month and Player of the Month respectively. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Peter Wilcox/PA Wire.

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File photo dated 16/05/2009 of Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson lifts the Barclays Premier League trophy. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Nick Potts/PA Wire.

File photo dated 16/05/2009 of Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson lifts the Barclays Premier League trophy. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Nick Potts/PA Wire.

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File photo dated 16/05/1999 of Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson (right) congratulates David Beckham (centre) and Roy Keane after his side clinched the Premiership Title at Old Trafford. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Phil Noble/PA Wire.

File photo dated 16/05/1999 of Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson (right) congratulates David Beckham (centre) and Roy Keane after his side clinched the Premiership Title at Old Trafford. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Phil Noble/PA Wire.

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File photo dated 23/04/2011 of Everton manager David Moyes (right) shouts instructions to his team as Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson gestures to the officials regarding the amount of added time, on the touchline. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Anna Gowthorpe/PA Wire.

File photo dated 23/04/2011 of Everton manager David Moyes (right) shouts instructions to his team as Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson gestures to the officials regarding the amount of added time, on the touchline. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Anna Gowthorpe/PA Wire.

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File photo dated 01/09/2004 of Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson (left) and new signing Wayne Rooney (right) with Joe Ruane (centre) who held a sign pleading for the club to sign Rooney at the match against Dinamo Buchrest. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Gareth Copley/PA Wire.

File photo dated 01/09/2004 of Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson (left) and new signing Wayne Rooney (right) with Joe Ruane (centre) who held a sign pleading for the club to sign Rooney at the match against Dinamo Buchrest. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Gareth Copley/PA Wire.

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File photo dated 01/11/1997 of Carling Premiership Manager of the Month Alex Ferguson. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Paul Barkey/PA Wire.

File photo dated 01/11/1997 of Carling Premiership Manager of the Month Alex Ferguson. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Paul Barkey/PA Wire.

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File photo dated 08/06/1996 of Newcastle boss Kevin Keegan (left) gets to grips with Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson as they meet at Wembley for the start of the European Championships. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Adam Butler/PA Wire.

File photo dated 08/06/1996 of Newcastle boss Kevin Keegan (left) gets to grips with Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson as they meet at Wembley for the start of the European Championships. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Adam Butler/PA Wire.

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File photo dated 05/03/2013 of Manchester United's manager Sir Alex Ferguson. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire.

File photo dated 05/03/2013 of Manchester United's manager Sir Alex Ferguson. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire.

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File photo dated 05/02/2002 of Manchester United fan Gary Breslin smiles as he reads the Manchester Evening News proclaiming that United manager Sir Alex Ferguson is set to continue in charge, outside Old Trafford. The club have confirmed they are in negotiations with Sir Alex for him to carry on as manager. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Phil Noble/PA Wire.

File photo dated 05/02/2002 of Manchester United fan Gary Breslin smiles as he reads the Manchester Evening News proclaiming that United manager Sir Alex Ferguson is set to continue in charge, outside Old Trafford. The club have confirmed they are in negotiations with Sir Alex for him to carry on as manager. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Phil Noble/PA Wire.

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Star performer: Ryan Giggs cut his teeth playing for United in the Milk Cup

Star performer: Ryan Giggs cut his teeth playing for United in the Milk Cup

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File photo dated 22/02/2002 of Manchester United's new  30million signing Rio Ferdinand stands with club manager Alex Ferguson as they pose for photographers at the club's Old Trafford ground. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire.

File photo dated 22/02/2002 of Manchester United's new 30million signing Rio Ferdinand stands with club manager Alex Ferguson as they pose for photographers at the club's Old Trafford ground. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire.

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File photo dated 17/05/1990 of The Manchester United team after winning the FA Cup at Wembley. United beat Crystal Palace 1-0. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: PA Wire.

File photo dated 17/05/1990 of The Manchester United team after winning the FA Cup at Wembley. United beat Crystal Palace 1-0. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: PA Wire.

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File photo dated 06/05/2000: Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson smiles as his side are crowned FA Carling Premiership Champions

File photo dated 06/05/2000: Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson smiles as his side are crowned FA Carling Premiership Champions

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File photo dated 26/05/99 of Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson with the UEFA Champions League Trophy following victory over Bayern Munich. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Phil Noble/PA Wire.

File photo dated 26/05/99 of Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson with the UEFA Champions League Trophy following victory over Bayern Munich. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Phil Noble/PA Wire.

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File photo dated 27/04/2001 of Manchester United's record signing Ruud Van Nistelrooy with United manager Sir Alex Ferguson at Old Trafford, Manchester. The player joins United from Dutch team Eindhoven. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Phil Noble/PA Wire.

File photo dated 27/04/2001 of Manchester United's record signing Ruud Van Nistelrooy with United manager Sir Alex Ferguson at Old Trafford, Manchester. The player joins United from Dutch team Eindhoven. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Phil Noble/PA Wire.

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File photo dated 28/04/2007 of Manchester United's manager Alex Ferguson with Ryan Giggs. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Peter Byrne/PA Wire.

File photo dated 28/04/2007 of Manchester United's manager Alex Ferguson with Ryan Giggs. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Peter Byrne/PA Wire.

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File photo dated 07/11/1986 of Manchester United's new manager Alex Ferguson (left) at a press conference at Old Trafford, with chairman Martin Edwards. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: PA Wire.

File photo dated 07/11/1986 of Manchester United's new manager Alex Ferguson (left) at a press conference at Old Trafford, with chairman Martin Edwards. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: PA Wire.

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File photo dated 5/05/2001 of Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson is applauded by his captain Roy Keane, as he lifts the FA Carling Premiership trophy. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Phil Noble/PA Wire.

File photo dated 5/05/2001 of Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson is applauded by his captain Roy Keane, as he lifts the FA Carling Premiership trophy. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Phil Noble/PA Wire.

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File photo dated 17/05/1990: Manchester United's goalscorer Lee Martin holds aloft the FA Cup after his team's 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace in the replay at Wembley

File photo dated 17/05/1990: Manchester United's goalscorer Lee Martin holds aloft the FA Cup after his team's 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace in the replay at Wembley

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File photo dated 05/05/1996 of Manchester united manager alex ferguson (right) and assistant manager brian kidd hold the premiership trophy after their side beat middlesbrough to win the title at riverside stadium. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: John Giles/PA Wire.

File photo dated 05/05/1996 of Manchester united manager alex ferguson (right) and assistant manager brian kidd hold the premiership trophy after their side beat middlesbrough to win the title at riverside stadium. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: John Giles/PA Wire.

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File photo dated 11/05/2003 of Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson holds the Premiership trophy after his side 2-1 win over Everton. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire.

File photo dated 11/05/2003 of Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson holds the Premiership trophy after his side 2-1 win over Everton. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire.

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File photo dated 20/08/1998 of Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson, with Dwight Yorke  today (Thursday) after he became Manchester United's record signing for a staggering ?12.6million, at Old Trafford. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Peter Wilcox/PA Wire.

File photo dated 20/08/1998 of Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson, with Dwight Yorke today (Thursday) after he became Manchester United's record signing for a staggering ?12.6million, at Old Trafford. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Peter Wilcox/PA Wire.

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File photo dated 11/05/2008 of Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson celebrates with the trophy following the Barclays Premier League match at JJB Stadium, Wigan. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Dave Thompson/PA Wire.

File photo dated 11/05/2008 of Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson celebrates with the trophy following the Barclays Premier League match at JJB Stadium, Wigan. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Dave Thompson/PA Wire.

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File photo dated 07/11/1986 of New Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson, who will be in charge of the team for the first time at Oxford tomorrow. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: PA Wire.

File photo dated 07/11/1986 of New Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson, who will be in charge of the team for the first time at Oxford tomorrow. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: PA Wire.

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File photo dated 22/05/2011 of Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson celebrates with the Premier League trophy. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire.

File photo dated 22/05/2011 of Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson celebrates with the Premier League trophy. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire.

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File photo dated 21/05/2008 of Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson celebrates with the trophy after winning the UEFA Champions League Final at the Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow, Russia. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire.

File photo dated 21/05/2008 of Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson celebrates with the trophy after winning the UEFA Champions League Final at the Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow, Russia. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire.

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File photo dated 26/05/99 of Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson with the UEFA Champions League Trophy following victory over Bayern Munich. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday  May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Phil Noble/PA Wire.

File photo dated 26/05/99 of Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson with the UEFA Champions League Trophy following victory over Bayern Munich. PRESS ASSOCITAION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 8, 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced. See PA Story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Phil Noble/PA Wire.

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(FILE PHOTO) Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has announced that he will retire at the end of the season after 26 years in charge. Undated: Portrait of Manchester United Manager Alex Ferguson \ Mandatory Credit: Allsport UK/Allsport

Now for the rest of his life and the hope that he will be able to fill it – because for all of the talk about his eclectic interests it is hard to avoid the impression that the day is soon upon us which has filled Sir Alex Ferguson with dread.

He declared a few years back that he would travel more – New York has become an increasing part of his life in the international breaks which he has used to rest – and would “even read history books”. There would be languages to study, because the passage of time had made him rather sentimental about the four years of German he studied at school. “It comes easy with the guttural accent of the Scots. I’ve been studying French for years. I could take on Italian... I already know a few sentences...” Spoken with the certainty of a man who has commanded his own environment for so long, and who also says he feels he needs a piano tutor to enhance his self-taught ability. As the list went on and on, these felt like the words of an individual trying to convince himself that there was so much to do and so little time, though the memory which most seemed to haunt him was, in fact, that of his father, Alexander, who retired on his 65th birthday and was dead a year later. An 80-year-old Bernie Ecclestone’s assertion that people retire to die struck a chord with Ferguson. “He’s right,” the soon to be former Manchester United manager once said.

His long-planned role in appointing David Moyes will give him a sense of entitlement to remain involved in the club which has been defined by him – and it will be natural for him to cast back to his early United years when the pipe smoke drifted out of Sir Matt Busby’s office and he called him in. Theirs was a cordial relationship and the Glazers will encourage him to guide Moyes and make it a transition in more than name. But he will not be the manager of Manchester United.

He will be free, of course, to attend the racecourses which have become a passion, even though the announcement of his retirement seemed to have contributed to his absence from the big May meet at Chester, where he tends to be a fixture. It meant that he missed his runner in the fifth race. Buttterfly McQueen finished a promising second, and so volunteered herself as one future distraction for a man notoriously lacking many outside football. More auspiciously still, Ferguson also has a share in a colt named Telescope, who won his debut impressively last year, and has been burning up the Newmarket gallops this spring. He goes on trial for the Derby itself at York next week.

These horses run on the Flat, but last month Ferguson also had an interest in two outsiders in the Grand National. But it would be a mistake to conclude that the man from Govan is any kind of big player in horseracing – or that he has any particular desire to become one. The top jumps trainer, Paul Nicholls, is fond of invoking his patron as an inspiration and source of advice, but only in terms of the common challenges they face as leaders in their field.

The fact is that he still talks of his horses in the same artless vernacular you might hear in a Govan betting shop. During Rock Of Gibraltar’s record spree of seven consecutive Group One wins, in 2001 and 2002, he persevered in referring to the champion colt as “it” rather than “he”. The sport’s defining uncertainties themselves offer this compulsive winner a kind of relief. In the same way, by confining himself only to a share of various different horses – reckoned to be up to 20 in all, whether through blue-chip syndicates of the type that owns Telescope, or in partnership with friends like Ged Mason, a Manchester businessman – Ferguson distances himself from the obsessive standards he applies to matters under his control.

One of his trainers does divulge that Ferguson once made a discreet telephone call at half-time, when he had a runner during a match. But his interest remains unpretentiously rooted. He has a bet most days, finding it “a great release and outlet” – as it once was for his own father when earning six pounds a week on Clydeside. “My dad loved his racing,” he says wryly. “But he was a bad judge.”

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It’s the relaxation he finds there which has created his well-known love of the Turf, albeit it was once explosively interrupted by the Rock Of Gibraltar affair. “One of the reasons I like racing is that, largely, people leave me alone,” he said once. “And when they do talk to me, it is likely to be about what is going to win the 3.30 rather than football.” That was when he was a genuine part of football and when everyone wanted a piece of him. As Ferguson pondered the hinterland beyond United he received a text message from Michael Owen, tipping his own yard’s 9-2 winner, and Owen hopes to nurture their mutual interest by encouraging him to have a horse in the stable, under the trainer Tom Dascombe, now he has more time on his hands.

Perhaps Ferguson will agree. Perhaps he will also stock that wine cellar with more of the French, Piedmontese and Tuscan vintages which he so loves. He reckons he’s read a bit on that, too. So many ways of filling the time. So few to fill the vast hole in his life.


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File photo dated 19/04/2009 of Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson (left) vents his frustration towards fourth official Alan Wiley (right) Gallery




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