Manchester United have celebrated their 20th league title and the 13th and final championship under the management of Sir Alex Ferguson on an open-top bus tour through the supporter-lined streets of Manchester. The trophy, which was secured last month, was lifted by the squad after the retiring Ferguson’s final match in charge at Old Trafford on Sunday -- a 2-1 victory over Swansea City. And it was outside the famous stadium that the celebrations began before heading down Sir Matt Busby way -- named after the only other United manager who can come close to matching Ferguson’s achievements -- through the Manchester streets toward the city center.
Thousands of fans were there to mark the occasion and Ferguson said that the volume of support trumped that which commemorated the claiming of the treble in 1999. After bidding an emotional farewell to Old Trafford as manager 24 hours earlier, the 71-year-old thanked the fans for their support.
"I am so pleased that we have won it and won it in style with a great bunch of players," Ferguson said. "Yesterday is a day I will never forget. On behalf of the players, I want to say thank you to you all." While there were high-spirited celebrations, Ryan Giggs -- who been a part of every one of Ferguson’s title winning sides -- admitted there was also a sadness to the occasion.
“There have been mixed emotions with the news that the manager is leaving. It has been hard, it has been tough, especially for the players who have known him for a long time, but I am happy and delighted that we could end the season on a high by winning the league in his last season,” he explained, according to Manchester United’s official website.
The atmosphere was also briefly interrupted when a number of boos were directed toward Wayne Rooney as the forward made his way onto the bus. Ferguson confirmed on Sunday that Rooney has asked to leave the club.