Football managers don’t get much more legendary than Sir Alex Ferguson. The former Manchester United boss won every major honour imaginable during his time at Old Trafford, including 13 Premier League titles and two Champions Leagues.
Let’s delve into the real reason why one of the most successful managers of all time left United.
When did Sir Alex Ferguson retire?
On May 8, 2013, Sir Alex Ferguson announced his retirement from football management following the death of his wife Cathy’s twin sister Bridget. The Scot wanted to continue managing Manchester United. However, he felt he needed to spend more time at home with his family.
In a 2015 interview with The Telegraph, Sir Alex opened up about a moment that sped up his departure from the United dugout.
“I saw she [Cathy] was watching television one night, and she looked up at the ceiling,” he said. “I knew she was isolated. Her and Bridget were twins, you know?”
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Bridget passed away in October 2012, seven months before Sir Alex’s retirement decision became public knowledge. He added that he “definitely would have carried on” as a football manager had it not been for Bridget’s passing.
How old was Sir Alex Ferguson when he retired?
Sir Alex Ferguson was 71 years old when he stepped down as Manchester United manager.
He initially planned to leave United 11 years earlier following the 2001-02 season. At the time, he had issues with the club over his contract and decided he wanted to retire at the age of 59. Following discussions with his family, he was convinced to stay at Old Trafford.
What was Sir Alex Ferguson’s last game?
The final game of Sir Alex Ferguson’s managerial career came against West Bromwich Albion at The Hawthorns on May 19, 2013. The match was also his 1,500th in charge of Manchester United.
The final score was West Bromwich Albion 5-5 Manchester United. United went 3-0 up inside 30 minutes, but the Romelu Lukaku-inspired Baggies clawed their way back into the game to secure a famous point.
Lukaku, on loan from Chelsea, came off the bench to score a second-half hat-trick. The result was made all the more remarkable by the fact that United led 5-2 with 10 minutes remaining.
Sir Alex Ferguson’s last Manchester United team lineup: Anders Lindegaard, Antonio Valencia, Phil Jones, Jonny Evans, Alexander Buttner, Tom Cleverley, Michael Carrick, Anderson, Shinji Kagawa, Javier Hernandez, Robin van Persie.
What was Sir Alex’s last game at Old Trafford?
A week before the West Brom game, Manchester United played their final home match of the 2012-13 season against Swansea City.
United beat Swansea 2-1 on May 12, 2013, as Sir Alex Ferguson watched his team play at Old Trafford for the last time in a competitive fixture. Javier Hernandez and Rio Ferdinand scored the goals for the Red Devils.
Premier League blast-from-the-past Michu was on target for Swansea. That means the Spaniard was the last player to score against a Sir Alex-led United team at The Theatre of Dreams.
When did Sir Alex retire as a player?
Everyone knows about Sir Alex Ferguson as a manager, but he wasn’t too bad as a footballer. He played as a striker for the following teams in Scotland: Queen’s Park, St Johnstone, Dunfermline Athletic, Rangers, Falkirk and Ayr United.
After 171 league goals in 317 appearances, Sir Alex retired as a player at the end of the 1973-74 season with Ayr United. Ayr finished seventh that year in an 18-team top flight.