I'll cry many times when I leave, admits Fergie
Alex Ferguson challenged his Manchester United players to secure a hat-trick of Premier League titles under incoming manager David Moyes as the club's trophy parade was greeted by over 150,000 fans through the city last night, writes MARK OGDEN.
With Ferguson managing United at Old Trafford for the final time against Swansea City on Sunday, the city of Manchester bade farewell to the 71-year-old, who retires after this weekend's game at West Brom.
Wayne Rooney, whose United is uncertain following Ferguson's revelation that the 27-year-old had asked for a transfer, was given a mixed reception by fans as the open-top bus crawled through the city. Ferguson urged the team to build on his success when Moyes takes charge.
"It's a young squad with a lot of good young players there that will get better, and the big test is to win it three times in a row as we've done before, so I hope the boys can do that," Ferguson said.
"This (reception) is fantastic. I'm more pleased for you (the fans) than anything else. To go through a 38-game programme and win it in style with a great bunch of players is fantastic. I thought 1999 was the best reception I've seen but this is unbelievable, fantastic. And they say United fans live outside the city!"
Ferguson admitted that he expects the emotion of leaving United will get to him at some stage after he held himself together during Sunday's highly-charged atmosphere at Old Trafford.
"I'll cry many times," Ferguson said. "I always expected a big crowd, but this is exceptional, the best ever.
"It's always going to cross your mind (to stay on) because of the great players, it's a great club and you obviously think about it but it's the right time. I've got plenty of things to do. I've got a lot of things to do, vineyards, I'll be busy."
Robin van Persie, a £24m summer signing from Arsenal, won his first title medal and the Dutch forward said that the move to Old Trafford has exceeded all of his expectations.
"It's even better than I expected," Van Persie said. "So many people are here and the medal hasn't left my neck since yesterday. The one thing I really like is that it made so many people so happy." (© Daily Telegraph, London)