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'Your job now is to stand by our new manager'

Last updated on: May 12, 2013 23:34 IST
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Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson bid goodbye to Old Trafford with a passionate speech after his side's 2-1 victory over Swansea in his final home match in charge of the team.

Here's what he said:

I've actually no script in my mind. I'm just going to ramble on and hope I get to the core of what this football club has meant to me.

First of all, it's a thank you to Manchester United. Not just the directors, not just the medical staff, the coaching staff, the players, the supporters. It's all of you. You have been the most fantastic experience of my life. Thank you.

Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson poses with the English Premier League trophy at Old Trafford stadium in Manchester on Sunday. Ferguson's last home match in charge of Manchester United ended in a low-key 2-1 Premier League win over Swansea City as the Old Trafford crowd gave their long-serving manager a warm and emotional send-off on SundayI have been very fortunate. I've been able to manage some of the greatest players in the country, let alone Manchester United. All these players here today have represented the club in the proper way. They won the championship in a fantastic fashion. Well done to the players.

My retirement doesn't mean the end of my life with the club. I'll be able to now enjoy watching them rather than suffer with them.

But if you think about it...those last minute goals, the comebacks, even the defeats are all part of this great football club of ours. And it's been an unbelievable experience for all of us, so thank you for that.

I'd also like to remind you that we've had bad times here. The club stood by me. All my staff stood by me. The players stood by me. So your job now is to stand by our new manager. That is important.

Before I start blubbing I just want to pay tribute to Paul Scholes, who retires today. He's unbelievable. He's one of the greatest players this club has ever had and ever will have.

Paul, we wish you a good retirement. I know you'll be around. Also I'd like to say another word wishing Darren Fletcher a speedy comeback.

I wish the players every success in future. You know how good you are, you know the jersey you're wearing. You know what it means to everyone here. And don't ever let yourself down, the expectation is always there.

So I'm going home, well, I'm going inside for a while. I just want to say thank you once again to all the Ferguson family -- they're all up there, 11 grandchildren!

Thank you. Thank you.

Photograph: Phil Noble/Reuters

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