Premier League - Reaction: 'What he has done will never be forgotten'

The world of football has been paying tribute to retiring Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson.

PA Sport
Premier League - Reaction: 'What he has done will never be forgotten'
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Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson with the European Cup Winners Cup trophy

FROM THE CLUB

Director Bobby Charlton: "He is such a fantastic manager. Everything he has done has been fantastic. He is a sensational person in every form and I am really delighted for him. I am a director but I hardly do anything because we are winning all the time and it is all down to Sir Alex Ferguson. He would get up in the middle of the night and travel 300 miles if he thought there was a schoolboy that he could sign. He loves the game and we at the club have had nothing to do really."

Chief executive David Gill: "The way he cares for this club, his staff and for the football family in general is something that I admire. It is a side to him that is often hidden from public view but it is something that I have been privileged to witness in the last 16 years. What he has done for this club and for the game in general will never be forgotten. It has been the greatest experience of my working life being alongside Alex and a great honour to be able to call him a friend."

First-team coach Rene Meulensteen: "(I found out) this morning when I came to the club. He called us into his office and he said what decision he took. It's always been on the cards - there's speculation every season. I think the manager kept his cards close to his chest. I think he felt the time was right now and he made a decision. He's obviously a man who thinks very, very well so I'm sure he's taken a lot of thought into making this decision. I wish him well. He's been fantastic for this club and I hope all the fans give whoever's going to come in the same support that he gets."

Defender Rio Ferdinand: "The bosses work ethic, his desire to win + to make us better players were unrivalled. Thanks boss."

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FORMER PLAYERS

Cristiano Ronaldo: "Thanks for everything, Boss"

Dwight Yorke: "It's a shock to the system because he's been there every day. He's the one person when you go into the football club he's always there. For him not to be there from the start of next season, it's not going to be right around the football club and it will take some getting used to."

Peter Schmeichel: "Disappointed, shocked, sad. Didn't think THAT day would be today"

Edwin van der Sar: "Was coming for some time now but still a shock that hasn't sunk in yet!! Great manager and remarkable person!"

Paul Ince: "I'm totally shocked. What's he's done in unbelievable. You'll never see anyone of his kind again. Two weeks ago he was talking about staying on for another two years, so it's a massive, massive shock. The way he treated me was like a son."

Lou Macari: "Everybody will be a little bit concerned. Can the next guy coming through the door do what Sir Alex has done? That's going to be tough. I know the club will be looking for a manager for the long term and not looking for a quick fix or anything like that."

Clayton Blackmore: "It comes with a heavy heart. We have heard the rumours and the papers speculating, and I didn't want to believe it as he has done such a fantastic job and we wanted to keep him there. He deserves his time to sit back and enjoy what he has done. It is going to be emotional on Sunday. I'm sure the manager knows who will replace him and he will have his say. It would not surprise me if David Moyes takes over."

Paddy Crerand: "I was down at Old Trafford yesterday and there was no hint of this happening. I am stunned by it. There was talk on the bookies closing shop on David Moyes and I thought that was just the usual made up stuff. The problem is that Alex has a great staff there and he admits that is one of the reasons he has been successful. Usually a guy comes in and wants his own people in. Is that going to happen? Who are the top managers out there or will they keep it within the club? I was at Manchester United when Matt Busby retired and all the talk was about how he was the dominant force. I thought that was created from outside. I don't think that was a problem."

Dennis Irwin: "It's a sad day for Manchester United. It's a day we should celebrate what he's done for Manchester United. It was always going to come as a shock. Without doubt the best manager that's ever lived."

Steve Bruce: "We're shocked, nobody saw it coming. He's obviously been thinking about it for a long, long time. He will be a big hole to replace. It wouldn't surprise me if it's David (Moyes as next manager) and we wish him well. Whoever takes over...he's going to be some act to follow. It doesn't seem quite right that Fergie won't be in charge any more. I don't think the next manager will do 27 years."

Ruud van Nistelrooy: "2001-2006, 219 games, 150 goals under the most successful manager in football history. It was a unique privilege. #SAF"

Louis Saha: "Wow S A Ferguson leaving. Hope is [sic] health ok. He is the most powerful man i ever met in my life after my dad. Huge respect for Football God."

Michael Owen: "It's just not sinking in! Manchester United with no Sir Alex just doesn't feel right. What a man and great that it has ended on his terms."

Giuseppe Rossi: "What a career! Proud and honoured to have been coached by Sir Alex Ferguson. #thankyougaffer"

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IN BRITAIN

Man City captain Vincent Kompany: “Sir Alex, one of the best managers of all time. After 26 years of success in the game, we all owe him a tribute.”

Ron Atkinson: "The significant thing might be the 20th (league title). I honestly didn't think he would finish, I thought he'd have at least another two years at it, maybe try to nick the European Cup back."

Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore: "The Premier League has had the privilege to witness many great players, managers and teams. No one has made as great a contribution to the Premier League than Sir Alex Ferguson. His ability to adapt as the game progressed, developing players from within Manchester United's youth set-up and integrating them with some of the world's finest talent created many formidable teams playing some wonderful football."

FA chairman David Bernstein: "Sir Alex Ferguson’s achievements are truly remarkable – he is genuinely one of the greatest managers of all time and certainly of the modern era. His contribution to English football has been outstanding in every regard and should be celebrated. On behalf of The FA I’d like to wish him a happy and healthy retirement."

PFA chief Gordon Taylor: "The game of football will be a lot poorer place without him. He has been quite simply the best. He followed in Sir Matt Busby's footsteps and even surpassed him. He will also be the toughest act to follow... Of course at times it has not always been smooth and we have had a difference of opinion but we always respected each other. He has had a faith and a belief in his youngsters that is rare in today's football."

LMA chairman Howard Wilkinson: "Today's news draws to a close the career of a man and a manager, the likes of which we will never see again. He is the epitome of the mantra 'Survive, Win, Succeed'. But, in private, with those he trusted, he was the very best sort of friend you could ever wish for. He always said he was too old to retire, let's hope he manages to enjoy the retirement he deserves."

Prime Minister David Cameron: "Sir Alex Ferguson's achievement at #MUFC has been exceptional. Hopefully his retirement will make life a little easier for my team #AVFC"

Labour leader Ed Miliband: 'Proud man. Great manager. Staunch Labour Party supporter. Sir Alex Ferguson will never be forgotten.'

Sports Minister Hugh Robertson: "His enthusiasm for our national game is boundless & I congratulate him on a remarkable managerial career."

Former Arsenal and Manchester City star Patrick Vieira: "It is the end of an era for a truly great ambassador, not only for the Premier League but for football overall. Best of luck to Sir Alex."

West Ham co-owner David Gold: "Sir Alex why are you retiring? I could understand it if you were old. Good luck in your future endeavours."

Radio presenter Danny Baker: “Reporters seriously suggesting Man U are now looking for next manager. Sure. This deal will have been nailed down like succession in N Korea.”

United fan Eamonn Holmes: "Sir Alex - how do you follow that? Thanks for the memories, the trophies, the spats, the entertainment, the passion and the chewing gum..."

Former Crystal Palace striker Mark Bright: “After twenty six years, 38 trophies, thousands of packets of chewing gum, the great man has decided to call it a day"

Arsenal: "Everyone at Arsenal wishes Sir Alex Ferguson health and happiness following the announcement of his retirement as Manchester United manager."

Chelsea: "All at #CFC would like to wish Sir Alex Ferguson the very best in his retirement. He has been a fantastic adversary over 26 years."

Golfer Rory McIlroy: "An end of an era today! Sir Alex Ferguson, the greatest of all time! United will have a tough time trying to replace him!"

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AROUND THE WORLD

FIFA chief Sepp Blatter: "Just heard Sir Alex Ferguson is retiring at end of season. His achievements in the game place him without doubt as one of the ‘greats’."

UEFA president Michel Platini: "Sir Alex has made a massive contribution to football, not only in Scotland and in England, but across Europe and beyond. He is a true visionary and I hope that, having helped us in the past through various coaching initiatives, he will continue to collaborate with UEFA to share his fantastic knowledge with the next generation of up-and-coming European coaches who all wish to emulate his achievements in the sport."

French sports daily L'Equipe: "Au revoir, Sir Alex - The legendary Manchester United manager has decided to leave his role. At the age of 71, after more than 26 years on the bench of the Red Devils, the Scot will step down at the height of his glory."

Spanish sports daily Marca: "Ferguson retires - On the table there are various names. The favourite one seems to be the current coach of Everton, David Moyes, but he is not the only candidate. Jose Mourinho is also in the picture."

Lisbon newspaper Record: "The day Ferguson got tired of winning".

Barcelona and Spain midfielder Sergio Busquets: "A historic coach is leaving us, a coach who will always be remembered in the world of football. It's a loss both for United and for the football world. The career he has had is spectacular, with everything he has won. He is an example for clubs who want a coach to stay on for so many years, always able to compete and among the best. I want to congratulate him on his career. He will be missed for sure."

Atletico Madrid striker Radamel Falcao: "Stand up, put your hands together and give him a big round of applause! Sir Alex Ferguson is retiring. Congrats for an amazing career!"

TV presenter and renowned Arsenal fan Piers Morgan: "Sir Alex quitting is the nearest thing to a trophy Arsenal have won in 8 years. Anyone fancy a conga around Beverly Hills?"

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