Alex Ferguson wins LMA award and offers support to Carlo Ancelotti

Sir Alex Ferguson has been named Manager of the Year by his fellow league managers and used the occasion to offer his support to sacked Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti.

Ferguson was also named the Barclays Premier League manager of the year following Manchester United's title triumph, and picked up a special merit award for having passed 2,000 matches as manager.

Speaking at the LMA awards dinner in London via video link from Old Trafford, Ferguson said: "It's a wonderful honour - it has been a fantastic season for us in the most difficult league in the world."

Ancelotti, sacked by Chelsea, attended the dinner and Ferguson said to him: "Carlo you are a fantastic man and you have showed great courage in coming to the dinner tonight, well done."

Norwich's Paul Lambert was the named the npower Championship manager of the year - the Canaries were promoted to the Premier League after finishing runners-up to QPR.

Brighton's Gus Poyet picked up the League One award and Chesterfield's John Sheridan won the League Two prize.

The LMA service to football award was given to Jimmy Hill, for his lifetime's work as a player, manager, chairman and broadcaster.

Ferguson said of his double award: "I really do appreciate being named LMA Manager of the Year and being honoured with the LMA Special Merit Award.

"It's been such a competitive Barclays Premier League this season and I'd like to congratulate all of the managers, both in this league and throughout the divisions, on a job well done this season.

"The work the LMA are doing and the foresight they are showing is fantastic. We have to support the belief that we are doing the right things and the help that we can give to all facets of the game."

LMA chairman Howard Wilkinson and chief executive Richard Bevan both paid tribute to Ferguson, who guided United to the Premier League title and this Saturday's Champions League final as he approaches 25 years at the Old Trafford helm.

Wilkinson said: "Sir Alex is fully deserving of this recognition, once again he has demonstrated genius at critical moments this season.

"It's not just his longevity in the game at one of the world's biggest clubs which is remarkable, but his consistent delivery of success in over 35 years in football management."

Bevan added: "What Sir Alex has achieved this season, both personally and with Manchester United, is extraordinary.

"At the LMA we are also extremely grateful for the amount of time and dedication he willingly provides to our association and our members.

"On behalf of the LMA, I wish Sir Alex and the Manchester United players the very best for this week's UEFA Champions League Final at Wembley. It will be a tremendous feat if they can lift the trophy at the home of English football."

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