Manchester United fans pay farewell to Ferguson

Eurasia News

Manchester United fans thronged around the club’s Old Trafford ground on Monday to pay tribute to Alex Ferguson, their iconic manager who is retiring after guiding the Red Devils to the English Premier League title for a 13th time.

Dressed in the club’s red, black and white colours, supporters were out in force in the north-western city to cheer on the open-top bus tour jointly marking United’s 20th title triumph and 71-year-old Ferguson’s extraordinary 26-year career transforming the club into a powerhouse of world football.

The victory parade was to get under way with a send-off event at 6:00 pm local time (1700 GMT) outside the East Stand at Old Trafford.

Some fans had been waiting outside for eight hours to see Ferguson with the Premier League trophy one last time.

Supporters waved flags reading “Champions 2013”, blew horns and sang “Fergie, we love you”.

Ferguson and club captain Nemanja Vidic were expected to address the crowd before the bus leaves via Sir Matt Busby Way, named in honour of United’s post-war Scottish manager who guided them to five English championships in the 1950s and 1960s and the first European Cup triumph for an English club in 1968.

Ray Hurst, who has been a Red Devils fan for 48 years, stood outside the East Stand entrance to say farewell to Ferguson.

The 67-year-old, who lives in Bolton near Manchester, said he was “welling up” at seeing Ferguson wave goodbye.

“He’s made our dreams come true and in great style, with fantastic football,”

Fans of rival club Manchester City like to deride united supporters as out-of-town glory hunters, more likely to be found in London, Cape Town, Bangkok or Tokyo than in the Manchester Arndale shopping centre.

But if Manchester is an instantly-recognisable word in Mumbai or Beijing, it is in large part down to Ferguson’s football magic at Old Trafford.