Ferguson honoured by Manchester United

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The Independent Football

Sir Alex Ferguson has been named as Manchester United's greatest icon.

Ferguson finished above Eric Cantona and Roy Keane in a poll conducted by the club's official magazine 'Inside United' that covered the period from the Premier League launch in 1992.

Ferguson first restored United's domestic supremacy following his arrival from Aberdeen in 1986, then established a stranglehold that looked like coming to an end once Roman Abramovich began pumping his money into Chelsea.

However, United rallied, recording back-to-back Premier League titles - taking Ferguson's tally to 10 - and the Champions League last season.

And a seven-game winning streak has once more seen United establish a clear advantage over their rivals this time around, with only Liverpool now serious challengers.

Paying tribute to Ferguson, celebrity United fan Eamonn Holmes said: "Sir Alex is the master when it come to responding to adversity.

"He has always talked about the importance of bouncing back positively to either a shock defeat or elimination from a competition.

"And not only is he a great tactician and motivator, he is one of the game's great characters.

"You can say what you want about him but he is certainly not dull."

While the presence of Cantona and Keane in United's pantheon of great names in the Premier League era, Sir Bobby Charlton's current favourite is winger Ryan Giggs.

The 35-year-old has been part of every championship the Red Devils have won under Ferguson and made his 786th appearance in Saturday's win over Everton at Old Trafford.

"He is brilliant to work with and you won't hear anyone with a bad word about him," said Charlton.

"More importantly, he is a fantastic footballer.

"In fact he is one of the most gifted footballers to ever play at Old Trafford. In his prime, his pace was simply sensational - the only way defenders could stop him was to bring him down.

"These days he is not quite as quick but his awareness and footballing brain is second to none. He is also good in the air which is something not everyone realises."