The highs and lows of Alex Ferguson’s amazing career in football
The 71-year-old has enjoyed enormous success during his 26 years in charge at the club, winning 13 Premier League titles, five FA Cups and two Champions League trophies.
To mark the retirement of the legendary boss, we chart the highs and lows during his time in the Old Trafford dugout.
1941: Born December 31 in Govan, Glasgow.
1957: Joins Queen’s Park as amateur while apprentice tool-maker in Glasgow factory.
1960: Joins St Johnstone as part-timer.
1964: Quits tool-making to join Dunfermline.
1967: Moves to Rangers for £65,000.
1969: Another move, this time to Falkirk, for £20,000.
1973: Joins Ayr, returning to part-time ranks while running his Glasgow pub.
1974: Appointed manager of East Stirling in September, but moves to St Mirren three months later.
1978: Sacked by St Mirren and appointed at Aberdeen as successor to Billy McNeill.
1980: First managerial honour as Aberdeen win Scottish championship.
1982: Aberdeen win the Scottish Cup, beating Rangers 4-1.
1983: Aberdeen retain Scottish Cup, this time beating Rangers 1-0, and defeat Real Madrid 2-1 in Gothenburg to lift European Cup Winners’ Cup.
1984: Aberdeen win League and Cup double, beating Celtic 2-1 in the Cup final; Ferguson awarded OBE.
1985: Appointed caretaker manager of Scotland following death of Jock Stein during Wales v Scotland World Cup qualifier.
1986: Scotland bow out of Mexico World Cup after first round. Ferguson leaves Aberdeen to take over at Manchester United after sacking of Ron Atkinson.
1989: Breaks British transfer record to sign Gary Pallister for £2.3million from Middlesbrough.
1990: First trophy at Old Trafford as United beat Crystal Palace 1-0 in an FA Cup final replay after a 3-3 draw.
1991: United beat Barcelona 2-1 in Rotterdam to win Cup Winners’ Cup.
1992: European Super Cup arrives at Old Trafford as United beat Red Star Belgrade, while first League Cup triumph booked with 1-0 defeat of Nottingham Forest. Championship dream dies as Leeds overhaul United in final weeks of the season.
1993: Old Trafford’s 26-year wait for title is ended as United finish 10 points clear of Aston Villa to win inaugural Premier League title; Signs Roy Keane from Nottingham Forest for British transfer record £3.75million.
1994: United become only sixth team to complete championship and FA Cup double.
1995: Breaks British transfer record again to sign Andy Cole from Newcastle for £7million; United finish runners-up to Blackburn in the league and Everton in the FA Cup.
1996: United become the first club ever to complete the championship and FA Cup double twice, overcoming one-time runaway leaders Newcastle in the Premier League and then beating Liverpool 1-0 at Wembley.
1997: Claims fourth championship title in five seasons.
1998: Finishes season trophyless as Arsenal win double.
1999: Leads United to the treble of European Cup, Premier League and FA Cup; Knighted in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.
2000: Guides United to a sixth Premier League title, finishing the campaign 18 points clear of Arsenal.
2001: Wins seventh title in nine years.
2002: Changes plans to retire to sign a new three-year deal as United manager; United finish outside top two in Premier League for first time.
2003: Involved in dressing room bust-up with star player David Beckham, who it emerges was cut in the face by a boot kicked by Ferguson in frustration; Courts controversy by claiming Champions League draw is fixed; United win title again; Launches a legal action against major United shareholder John Magnier over stud rights to top racehorse Rock of Gibraltar.
2004: United win FA Cup with victory over Millwall in final; Signs Everton star Wayne Rooney for a fee which could rise to £27million.
2005: United lose FA Cup final to Arsenal on penalties.
2006: Wins the League Cup for only the second time thanks to a 4-0 thrashing of Wigan.
2007: Wins first Premier League title for four years but United are denied the double after FA Cup final defeat to Chelsea.
2008: Beats Chelsea to the Premier League title again before defeating the Blues on penalties in the Champions League final in Moscow. United subsequently add the Club World Cup before the end of the year.
2009: Retains Premier League title having already won the League Cup against Tottenham. United reach Champions League final in Rome but lose to Barcelona 2-0.
2010: Forced to settle for just the League Cup, against Aston Villa, as Carlo Ancelotti helps Chelsea reclaim the title; becomes United’s longest-serving manager.
2011: Given a five-match touchline ban and a £30,000 fine for his verbal attack on referee Martin Atkinson at Chelsea in February. “You want a fair referee, or a strong referee anyway - and we didn’t get that,” said Ferguson in the aftermath of the 2-1 defeat. “I must say, when I saw who the referee was I feared it. I feared the worst.”
2012: May - United are pipped to the Premier League title on a dramatic final day of the season, with bitter rivals Manchester City instead taking top spot on goal difference.
September - Ferguson manages his 1000th league game with United against Southampton. Two weeks later, he wins his 100th game in the Champions League be beating Galatasaray at Old Trafford.
2013: April 22 - United land a record 20th league title with a 3-0 win over Aston Villa.
May 8 - United announce he will retire at the end of the season.