United’s chief executive David Gill added his own words of praise, saying: “He's been the definition of a Manchester United manager.
“It's a pleasure and a privilege to work alongside him. Everyone knows the success Alex has achieved in the last 26 years.
“But for me, as a fan, a colleague and a friend, the greatest thing he has brought back to this club is respect. Respect for the staff, respect for the heritage and history of the club and respect for the Manchester United way.
“This magnificent work by Philip Jackson will serve as a reminder – long after those of us who can tell the tales have gone – of what a fantastic influence Alex has been on this great club.”
After the unveiling of the statue and a plaque beneath it, Sir Alex’s invited guests entered the Sir Alex Ferguson Stand to view a new collection of artwork celebrating his quarter-century at the helm.