End of an era: How Twitter reacted to news of Sir Alex Ferguson retiring

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News of Sir Alex Ferguson’s decision to retire as Manchester United manager and move upstairs at Old Trafford has sent shockwaves through the sporting world.

English football’s most successful manager is set to step aside at the end of the Premier League season after a 26-year spell in charge that has seen the Scot win 49 trophies.

Ferguson’s roll of honour at United includes 13 Premier League titles, the FA Cup five times, four League Cups and the Champions League twice.

Having presided over an extraordinary quarter of a century at the helm at United, Ferguson wants to give another manager the chance to take over the role, with David Moyes and Jose Mourinho the current favourites at 6/4 and 11/10 respectively.

“It is the right time,” said Ferguson.

“It was important to me to leave an organisation in the strongest possible shape and I believe I have done so.

“The quality of this league winning squad, and the balance of ages within it, bodes well for continued success at the highest level whilst the structure of the youth set-up will ensure that the long-term future of the club remains a bright one.”

As one of the biggest breaking sports stories in years, it was interesting to see how it developed in real time on Twitter – and here’s a look at how the last few hours panned out on the social network.

The Daily Telegraph first broke the story at Tuesday night at 10pm to send the rumour mill into overdrive about whether or not it was true and who would replace Ferguson at Old Trafford.

Confirmation came via the club’s official Twitter feed at 9.17am on Wednesday morning, roughly 12 hours after the story started to snowball online.

Just a recap – if it were needed – about just how incredible Feguson’s Premier League record actually is.

Another nice little Ferguson stat here…

The tributes quickly started to pour in from journalists, rival clubs, players past and present, fans – and even the Prime Minister David Cameron.

It’s fair to say that Ferguson has polarised opinion like no other football manager – and so it’s hardly surprising that plenty of jokes have been doing the rounds on social media.

Twitter went into a virtual meltdown and the trending topics worldwide at 9.55am gave a clear indication of the front runners to replace Ferguson – and we’re not talking about Paul Ince here. Sorry, Paul.

Iain Dowie even started trending…here’s why…

Ferguson = box office.

And now attention turns to the next United manager.

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