Sir Alex Ferguson shocked the world on Wednesday by announcing his retirement as Manchester United manager at the end of this season.
The boss leaves the Reds as the most successful British boss of all time having lifted 38 major trophies since taking over at Old Trafford on 6 November 1986 – most recently winning the 2012/13 Barclays Premier League title with four games to go.
Predictably, news of Sir Alex’s retirement sent ripples throughout football and several former players have given their reaction via various news outlets. Here, we compile their differing views, thoughts and observations...
“When you play for him, his winning mentality rubs off on you. He is so driven and determined, and he works so hard that it seems to rub off on a lot of people - it’s no surprise that a few of his old players have gone into management or coaching. He wants to beat you as a manager and he does that constantly, but he offers you a bit of encouragement and is always there on the end of the telephone. He has humility from his past background that means he treats the grounds staff just the same as he treats his star centre forward. I wish him a happy retirement, which I’m sure he’ll have.”
“Sir Alex still had the hunger, he has very high standards and it is all about winning trophies and breaking records but there is more to the man. The way they lost the Premier League last season would have hurt him immensely, certainly losing it to Manchester City, so he wanted to regain it and that was his prime objective this year. He has managed to do that and he has done it in a great way with great style. So in many respects, that is the reason why he has decided to retire. By doing all of that, with the hip operation and David Gill going, I think he feels it is the right time to go.”