SIR Alex Ferguson’s tenure as Man Utd manager ended in 2013 after a trophy-filled career with the club.
His last season would see him lift the Premier League title for the last time.
A fitting ending for the man who can claim to be the greatest boss our shores have ever seen – he’s won 38 trophies in almost 27 years.
But for those not inside at Old Trafford, Fergie dropped a massive hint about his intention to finally step away from football months before his May 8 announcement.
Two months earlier, the Red Devils were disappointingly eliminated from the Champions League by Real Madrid when Portuguese winger Nani received a red card.
Ferguson, now 81, was due to give his briefing in a TV interview – something he did regularly for European games.
Instead, former CEO David Gill entered the dressing room and joined Mike Phelan to offer a reaction to the loss.
Significantly, Phelan replaced Fergie in his interviews with the BBC after the Scot boycotted the channel over a documentary about his son Jason. But never after a Champions League game.
There was agreement Sir Alex would say something he would regret, given how upset he was with Turkey referee Cuneyt Cakir.
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Phelan briefed the media and told them Ferguson was “distraught” and “unable” to speak to them, according to BBC Sport.
What Gill and Phelan already knew and what the world didn’t know was that Fergie would be retiring at the end of the 2012-13 season, something he had confided in them at the start of the season.
It was also his last chance to win the Champions League for a third time, adding to his anger and irritation.