Former Manchester United players, sports stars, celebrities and politicians from around the world paid tribute to Alex Ferguson on Wednesday, as United’s 71-year-old coach announced his retirement at the end of the current season.
Many former United players, including Denis Law, the club’s record goalscorer, were shocked. “I couldn't believe it. I was with him only last week in Manchester,” Law said. “I always thought he would go on until 90 and then say, ‘That's it.’ He's too young to retire.”
Former United goalkeeperPeter Schmeichel believes that something is amiss: “I'm shocked -- I just can't make sense of the timing,” Schmeichel told Sky Sports News. “Until he explains why, we can guess and guess. There is something there we don't know about, he won't retire for the sake of retiring, it is difficult to makes sense of it.” Former striker Louis Saha also tweeted that he hoped Ferguson’s health is OK.
Elsewhere, former winger Cristiano Ronaldo posted a picture of his first day at Old Trafford on his Twitter account with the message, “Thanks for everything, Boss.” Former United captainBryan Robson described Ferguson as “probably the greatest manager there’s ever been.” His thoughts were echoed by former striker Michael Owen, who tweeted, “What a privilege to have played under arguably the best manager the world has ever seen."
Even British Prime Minister David Cameron took to Twitter to hail the Scot: “Sir Alex Ferguson's achievement at #MUFC has been exceptional. Hopefully his retirement will make life a little easier for my team #AVFC,” he tweeted.