On the weekend that Sir Alex Ferguson celebrates his 25th year at Manchester United the world of football is rightly paying homage to the greatest manager who ever lived. And among the many tributes the words of Wayne Rooney sum up my feelings entirely.

United’s talisman, who was just one year old when Fergie was appointed manager on 6 November 1986, said: “What he has done not just for Manchester United but the game of football is amazing. In my estimation he is the best of the lot.”

Just why Rooney believes the Scot cannot be equalled and will never be surpassed is explained by a fascinating insight from the England star who says: “Some of his team talks . . . you walk out on the pitch and you say to each other ‘How good was that?’

“For the British players who understand him it is incredible. It’s more difficult for the foreign lads to understand. But it gets you right up for the game and I don’t really think it is something that can ever be replaced.”

The fans have also had their say, with Manchester United unveiling a giant banner paying tribute to Sir Alex’s 25th anniversary at Old Trafford. The banner, covering the entire length of the Stretford End stand, will have pride of place at Saturday’s home match with Sunderland – just 24 hours bfeore the boss completes his historic milestone.

The 72-metre long banner cost £3,600 to make and was funded by donations from United fans through the Stretford End Flags organisation. Supporters were offered two designs and asked to vote for their favourite.

The winning design is themed ‘The Impossible Dream…Made Possible’ and depicts Ferguson and the 37 major trophies he has won during his remarkable quarter of a century reign at United.

It continues a long tradition of celebratory banners unveiled at Old Trafford, including tributes to the victims of the 1958 Munich air disaster and heroes such as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Ryan Giggs and George Best.


Old Trafford’s North Stand has been re-named the Sir Alex Ferguson Stand to mark the manager’s unique achievements – and the new sign was unveiled before the 1-0 win against Sunderland