Moyes replaces Man Utd's Alex Ferguson

Moyes replaces Man Utd's Alex Ferguson

Everton's David Moyes will replace Sir Alex Ferguson as manager of Manchester United, following the long-serving gaffer's retirement, talkSPORT has reported.

Speculation had been rife from the moment Sir Alex's departure, after 26 years at the helm, was confirmed in a statement on Wednesday.

Moyes or Mourinho seemed to be the question on everyone's lips, but it appears that José is not the 'special' one on this occasion.

According to talkSPORT, Moyes - a Scotsman whose mother hails from Portrush in Co Antrim - will make the move to Old Trafford at the end of the season.

"The decision to retire is one that I have thought a great deal about and one that I have not taken lightly," Sir Alex said.

"It is the right time."

Going forward, I am delighted to take on the roles of both Director and Ambassador for the club ... I am looking forward to the future.

Sir Alex Ferguson

Sir Alex will now bow out after the away fixture against West Bromwich Albion on 19 May. It will be his 1,500th game in charge of United.

"It was important to me to leave an organisation in the strongest possible shape and I believe I have done so," Sir Alex added, also paying tribute to his family for their love and support.

"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."

Among those previously tipped to take up the reins, alongside Moyes and former Chelsea boss José Mourinho, were club heroes like Ryan Giggs and Ole Gunnar Solskjær.

"Fergie has created the most incredible football club and the most incredible dynasty," Jim Gracey, Belfast Telegraph Group Sports Editor, told UTV.

"His sheer force of personality actually won a lot of matches for Manchester United."

Northern Ireland's First and deputy First Ministers, Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness were among the many politicians, sport stars and celebrities paying tribute to Sir Alex's career.

"I suppose I should react to that first because Peter will only smile, given that he's a Spurs supporter," Mr McGuinness joked.

I'm not so biased in my football as not to be able to recognise the excellence of his management skills.

First Minister Peter Robinson

The deputy First Minister continued: "All that needs to be said is that we wish Sir Alex the very best for his retirement.

"He has been a fantastic manager - one of the greatest managers, I think, that the Premiership has ever seen."

The leaders also recalled Sir Alex bringing his team to Northern Ireland for Harry Gregg's testimonial last year.

"Many another manager would have brought a lot of young and new players in - he brought his first team squad which says something about him," Mr Robinson added.

Co Down golfer and world number two Rory McIlroy was also full of praise for Sir Alex.

"An end of an era today! Sir Alex Ferguson, the greatest of all time! United will have a tough time trying to replace him!" he tweeted.

Other celeb fans like Simply Red's Mick Hucknall and Lord of the Rings actor Dominic Monaghan also hailed the end of an era for their team.


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