The footballing world was undoubtedly beyond shocked, as Manchester United gave confirmation that long-serving manager Sir Alex Ferguson was to retire at the end of the season; just two weeks after leading the Red Devils to their record 20th title.
No-one saw this coming. At all. It's a major shock - personally, I thought he could have gone a couple more seasons at least, maybe even longer until his health physically wouldn't let him manage anymore. That's one thing we have to remember; no-one is invincible. The man is 71, he cannot go on forever - as much as we may all want him to.
Regardless of whoever you support, you cannot deny the man is a legend. The greatest manager possibly ever, definitely the best manager in the English league. And quite frankly if you don't agree with that, you do not understand football.
In his 26 years at United, Fergie has won 38 trophies - that impressive haul includes 13 league titles, two Champions League crowns, five FA Cups and four League Cups. That record is undisputed - and yet we remember his first two seasons in charge of United were unsuccessful. In fact, United were going to sack him! But they stuck with him, and now, they have knocked Liverpool off their perch to be the most successful club in England.
He may be hypocritical, he may be arrogant but my goodness, he is utterly brilliant. I don't think any manager will eclipse quite what Fergie has done in his wonderful United career, and the respect he has gained throughout the World for this, is enormous. This is clearly evident from the amount of people who today, have said publicly spoke about how brilliant the man is. He's the man who could get his team to turn a game around and do the impossible. He puts his faith in the youth of today, and can make little known teenagers turn into some of the best footballers on the planet. There's just something about Fergie which makes him just pure brilliance.
Whoever his successor may be (I think David Moyes would be perfect for the job), they have certainly massive boots to follow. But I stand up and applaud a brilliant manager, one that has done a lot for the game. He may be going, but this is not goodbye.
So I say,
Farewell Fergie. And thanks for everything.