When United play Chelsea in a few weeks time, Sir Alex Ferguson will be able to celebrate becoming the longest serving Manchester United manager. With 24 years, one month and 14 days in charge, Fergie will have been at the club for one day longer than Sir Matt Busby in both his stints with the club.

“That will be a nice moment,” said Sir Alex. “I never imagined I’d be here so long, particularly in the modern game. I don’t think it will happen again and I feel lucky to have been here all this time. In some ways it was a shame that I came in during the latter part of his life but, on the flipside, it was fantastic that he was here and I used to have a lot of good chats with him. You always knew he was in the building because you could smell his pipe. I’d go for a chat and a cup of tea with him whenever I had the chance; he was a lovely man who was always keen to offer encouragement to me.”

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Ferguson set to eclipse Busby