Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 13th 2013 Contents A73
Monday, May 13, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
MANCHESTER---As red-and-white ticker tape flew
into the rainy sky at Old Trafford, a beaming Alex
Ferguson hoisted up the Premier League trophy for
a 13th and final time.
Behind Britain s most successful football manager
stood his jubilant squad of players, dancing to a sound-
track of "Champions, Champions" being belted out
by more than 76,000 fans.
It was the end of an era at Manchester United yes-
terday as Ferguson took charge of his final home match
of a club he has led for nearly 27 years. And he had
a 38th piece of major silverware to celebrate it with.
There were no tears from Ferguson---although he
came close at times during an emotional five-minute
speech to the crowd. Instead, just pure happiness and
satisfaction. The smile never left his face.
"You have been the most fantastic experience of
my life," Ferguson said. "Thank you.
"My retirement doesn t mean the end of my life
with the club. I will be able to enjoy watching them
rather than suffering with them."
Sunday s game against Swansea was more a party,
a tribute to Ferguson s achievements, than a football
A total of $7,000 in prize money is
at stake in the One Day Rapid Play
chess tournament which comes off at
Naparima Girls High School, San Fer-
nando, on Saturday, starting at 10 am.
The tournament is the second annual
event organised by the Grant Memo-
rial Presbyterian School Chess Club
(GMPSCC) and it is sponsored by Ven-
ture Credit Union.
Trophies and medals will also be
awarded to winners and runners up in
the event which will be contested in
six categories: Novices A (absolute
beginners), Novices B (without rating),
Under 1200, Under 14, Under 1800 and
Open where cash prizes alone will be
The GMPSCC was formed by its
president David Martin, who is also
president of the Southern Chess Club,
and it holds the record of being the
largest and best equipped chess club
in the country. A southern business-
man, Martin said his main objective is
to spread the "gospel of chess" in the
South, particularly among the young-
He thanked the Venture Credit Union
for its support and noted that credit
union shares will also be among the
Rapid play chess at
match. The final score was 2-1 to United,
but that barely registered.
From the moment he emerged from
the tunnel before kickoff to a guard of
honour from both teams, to the moment
he took the microphone and addressed
his adoring supporters for one final time,
this was one long celebration.
Old Trafford has never seen such emo-
tions, such warmth, such an explosion
"I just want to say thank you once
again from all the Ferguson family," he
said, pointing to his wife Cathy and
grandkids. "Thank you. Thank you."
Ferguson stunned the world by
announcing Wednesday that he would
be bringing his managerial career to a
close at the end of the season. And he
finally gave the reasons behind his deci-
sion, which he said he made at Christ-
"Things changed when Cathy s sister
died," Ferguson said in a TV interview.
"She is isolated a lot now. I owe (Cathy)
a lot of my own time. For 47 years, she
has been the leader of the family, looked
after our three sons, sacrificed herself
for me. Now she has all her grandchil-
"She lost her best friend, her sister
Bridget, so that was important. Also, I
wanted to go out a winner. That s the
most important thing I ve wanted to
be."Ferguson will always be a winner---
13 league titles, two Champions League
titles, five FA Cups and four League
Cups is testament to that. That Rio Fer-
dinand slammed home a volley in the
87th minute against Swansea to clinch
Ferguson s final home victory in his
1,499th game as United manager
summed up the determination and drive
embedded in the Scot s teams down the
He began the day posing for pictures
with ball boys in the depths of Old Traf-
ford, his place of work since 1986.
Then came his first appearance in
front of the crowd, striding through the
guard of honor and applauding fans,
with a sea of red flags and a mosaic with
the words "Champions 2013" providing
an eye-catching backdrop.
"Fergie Rules," read one banner. "Sir
Alex - Immortal," read another in the
He had almost reached the center of
the pitch before he turned to make his
way to the dugout, stopping briefly to
sign autographs and to wave to fans.
During the match, Ferguson was his
usual self---furiously chewing gum, leap-
ing to his feet to contest a refereeing
decision, checking his watch. All the
hallmarks that make Ferguson who he
is.After the fulltime whistle, he slowly
made his way to the center circle as his
players and coaching staff left the stage
to the man everyone had come to see.
"I have absolutely no script in my
mind. I am just going to ramble on and
hope I get to the core of what this football
club has meant to me," Ferguson said.
He paused throughout his speech as
fans sang his name. Assistant coach
Mike Phelan wiped tears from his eyes.
"If you think about it, those last-
minute goals, the comebacks, even the
defeats, are all part of this great football
club of ours," Ferguson said. "It s been
an unbelievable experience for all of us.
So thank you for that. And also, I d like
to remind you that when we had bad
times here, the club stood by me, all my
staff stood by me, the players stood by
me. Your job now is to stand by our new
That man, David Moyes, was about
30 miles away taking charge of his last
home game as Everton manager before
taking over at United on July 1. He has
a near impossible task, replacing the
Ferguson left the pitch to more
applause and chants, only to return min-
utes later for the trophy celebration. The
Premier League trophy, bedecked in
black, white and red ribbons, was handed
to Patrice Evra and Nemanja Vidic, who
immediately turned to Ferguson and
placed it in his hands.
For one final time, Ferguson lifted it
The perfect afternoon. A perfect 27
Old Trafford salutes
Man U manager Ferguson
Manchester United's manager Sir Alex Ferguson
kisses the premier league trophy after his last home
game in charge of the club, their English Premier
League soccer match against Swansea City, at Old
Trafford Stadium, Manchester, England, yesterday.
Links Archive May 12th 2013 May 14th 2013 Navigation Previous Page Next Page