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

Sport
sportSo, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Arts and Entertainment
Dennis speaks to his French teacher
tvThe Boy in the Dress, TV review
News
One father who couldn't get One Direction tickets for his daughters phoned in a fake bomb threat and served eight months in a federal prison
people... (and one very unlucky giraffe)
Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The Plaza Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia was one of the 300 US cinemas screening
filmTim Walker settles down to watch the controversial gross-out satire
Arts and Entertainment
Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz in Tim Burton's Big Eyes
film reviewThis is Tim Burton’s most intimate and subtle film for a decade
Life and Style
Mark's crab tarts are just the right size
food + drinkMark Hix cooks up some snacks that pack a punch
Arts and Entertainment
Jack O'Connell stars as Louis Zamperini in Angelina Jolie's Unbroken
film review... even if Jack O'Connell is excellent
Arts and Entertainment
Madonna is not in Twitter's good books after describing her album leak as 'artistic rape and terrorism'
music14 more 'Rebel Heart' tracks leaked including Pharrell Williams collaboration
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all