Premier League

Ferguson tells fans to back Moyes

Sir Alex Ferguson addresses the crowd after his final match at Old Trafford.
Sir Alex Ferguson addresses the crowd after his final match at Old Trafford.
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FOND FAREWELL

See the best images from Sir Alex Ferguson's final match at Old Trafford.

Sir Alex Ferguson has told Manchester United's fans to back incoming boss David Moyes next season.

Ferguson bows out next Sunday after securing a 2-1 win over Swansea in his final home game as manager.

After the victory, he addressed the crowd and told them to get behind his replacement. The current Everton boss will start at Old Trafford on July 1.

"I would like to remind you this club stood by me in bad times, the players and the staff," he said. "Your job now is to stand by the new manager."

Ferguson paid personal tribute to Paul Scholes, who started Sunday's game and will also retire in the summer, and Darren Fletcher, who continues his recovery from a chronic bowel condition.

And he insisted he would still be a regular presence at Old Trafford.

"I will be able to go along and watch them rather than suffer with them," he said. "Those last-minute goals, the comebacks and even the defeats are part of this great football club. It has been an unbelievable experience."

Ferguson added: "I have been fortunate to manage some of the greatest player in this country, let alone Manchester United. They have represented our club in the proper way.''

Ferguson said he had "no speech in mind'' and would just "ramble on'' before admitting at one point that he might start "bubbling''. However, he did not.

"I wish the players every success,'' he said. "I know how good you are. You know the jersey you are wearing and you know what it means to everyone here. Do not let yourselves down.''

Ferguson began his address by thanking all the players, staff and supporters of the club and said: "You have been the most fantastic experience of my life.''

Rio Ferdinand was delighted to give Ferguson a winning send-off following the "devastating'' news the long-serving Scot would be stepping down.

"To win at Old Trafford, the man's desire to win football matches, to keep bringing success to the football club, he deserved to have three points in his last home game,'' said the defender. "Obviously it was a personal moment between him and the squad, it's emotional, he's had so many years here, it's his second home,'' he told Sky Sports.

"For us to hear him say it, we were devastated, but as you know this is a great club, we have to move on and that's what he wants.''

TROPHIES GALORE

Sir Alex Ferguson has had a long and successful career with Manchester United. See his top moments.

Part of the reason for this season's success was the arrival last summer of the prolific Robin van Persie from Arsenal.

The Dutchman was thrilled to get his hands on a Premier League winner's medal after failing to manage it during eight seasons with the Gunners.

He said after lifting the trophy: "It was amazing, it was heavy! I couldn't have wished for this year to be any better, only in my wildest dreams could I have wished it be like this.''

He also hailed Ferguson, adding: "For me it was a massive honor to have worked with him. I want to thank him, he's been unbelievable. He's a great manager and an even greater person. He deserves all the credit. He's amazing.''

On finding out Ferguson was leaving, Van Persie added: "It was a really sad day. Everybody understands it.''

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