Rio Ferdinand thrilled to give Sir Alex Ferguson perfect send-off after 'devastating' news

Defender's 87th minute winner gives Sir ALex Ferguson victory in his final game at Old Trafford

Rio Ferdinand was delighted to give Sir Alex Ferguson a winning send-off in his final Old Trafford match as Manchester United manager following the “devastating” news the long-serving Scot would be stepping down from his post at the end of the season.

Ferdinand smashed home an 87th-minute goal to earn United a 2-1 victory over Swansea today after Michu had cancelled out Javier Hernandez's first-half opener for the Barclays Premier League champions.

The win ensured Ferguson finished on a high in his final home match after 26 years in charge and Ferdinand believes it is just what he deserved.

"To win at Old Trafford, the man's desire to win football matches, to keep bringing success to the football club, he deserved to have three points in his last home game," said Ferdinand, who revealed the players' shock when Ferguson announced to them he was stepping down.

"Obviously it was a personal moment between him and the squad, it's emotional, he's had so many years here, it's his second home," he told Sky Sports 1.

"For us to hear him say it, we were devastated, but as you know this is a great club, we have to move on and that's what he wants."

Ferdinand is out of contract at the end of the season but the 34-year-old is hoping Ferguson can influence the powers that be at United to give him a new one.

He said: "It'd be nice. I'll have to speak to the board and hopefully the manager puts in a good word in for me!"

United lost the Premier League title in agonising fashion to Manchester City last season but bounced back to reclaim the trophy in convincing style this season - the 13th time under Ferguson.

Part of the reason for this season's success was the arrival last summer of the prolific Robin van Persie from Arsenal.

The Dutchman was thrilled to get his hands on a Premier League winner's medal after failing to manage it during eight seasons with the Gunners.

He said after lifting the trophy today: "It was amazing, it was heavy!

"I couldn't have wished for this year to be any better, only in my wildest dreams could I have wished it be like this."

He also hailed Ferguson, adding: "For me it was a massive honour to have worked with him. I want to thank him, he's been unbelievable. He's a great manager and an even greater person. He deserves all the credit. He's amazing."

On finding out Ferguson was leaving, Van Persie added: "It was a really sad day. Everybody understands it."

 

Related articles

Ferguson hits Rooney with his parting shot

Rooney urged to remain at United by Gary Neville

Manchester United 2 Swansea 1 match report

Sir Alex Ferguson's complicated relationship with Manchester United fans

Paul Scholes: 'I know it's the right time'

Rio Ferdinand thrilled to give Ferguson perfect send-off

 

 

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

The long walk west: they fled war in Syria, only to get held up in Hungary – now hundreds of refugees have set off on foot for Austria

They fled war in Syria...

...only to get stuck and sidetracked in Hungary
From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series

Title sequences: From The Prisoner to Mad Men

Elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series. But why does the art form have such a chequered history?
Giorgio Armani Beauty's fabric-inspired foundations: Get back to basics this autumn

Giorgio Armani Beauty's foundations

Sumptuous fabrics meet luscious cosmetics for this elegant look
From stowaways to Operation Stack: Life in a transcontinental lorry cab

Life from the inside of a trucker's cab

From stowaways to Operation Stack, it's a challenging time to be a trucker heading to and from the Continent
Kelis interview: The songwriter and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell and crying over potatoes

Kelis interview

The singer and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell
Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea