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End of an Era: Sir Alex Ferguson Takes Charge of Final Man United Match

Old Trafford boss brings and end to a glittering career.

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Sir Alex Ferguson takes charge of Manchester United for the 1,500th and final time as his side takes on West Brom at the Hawthorns on the final weekend of the season.

Having bid an emotional farewell to the Old Trafford masses last weekend, Ferguson will close the door on his managerial career at The Hawthorns — 26 years, six months and 11 days since his first game at the United helm, a 2-0 loss at Oxford United on November 8, 1986.

It promises to be a day rich in nostalgia for Ferguson, who will be succeeded by Everton manager David Moyes on July 1.

In his final pre-game press conference, he cast his mind back to the very beginning of his journey as a manager, with Scottish minnows East Sterling in 1974.

“I have had 39 years as a manager,” said the 71-year-old.

“On that day in 1974 when I started at East Stirling, I had eight players and no goalkeeper. Today I have six goalkeepers and about 100 players.

“I remember the old chairman, Willie Muirhead. He was a great chain smoker. When I asked him for a list of players, he started to shake. His cigarette was going 100 miles an hour.

“I had to remind him a couple of days later. He gave me a list of eight players and no goalkeeper. I said: ‘You know it is advisable to start with a keeper — are you aware of that?'”

Ferguson will retire with 49 trophies to his name, 38 of which he has amassed during a record-breaking stint at United in which he established himself as one of the most successful coaches in the history of professional sport.

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