There will be many fans turning up at Old Trafford on a weekly basis who have no or little memory of Manchester United before Sir Alex Ferguson. The man has revolutionised United, returning us to the glory days we’d seen under Sir Matt Busby, and even for the most hardened reds, who have following the clubs for decades, will struggle to imagine the club under any other manager but Fergie. Whilst there is talk of which former legend will come back to replace him, whether it be Hughes, Keane or Cantona, and debate over whether Queiroz is good enough to be number one, it is easy to forget just how difficult it will be for Ferguson’s place in our club to be replaced.

Ferguson has previously gone back on a decision to retire, which has been vindicated by his Premiership titles in 2003 and 2007, as well as an FA Cup in 2004 and a League Cup in 2006. Whenever asked about the future, he now responds rather aggressively to the implication it is coming close to the time when he should leave. However today, Ferguson has opened up on how he sees his future, and fortunately for us, it will be with our club.

“When I retire I won’t take up a director of football-type role, because I don’t think that would be fair to the new manager,” he said. “I’ll have a position at the club, but it will be more of an ambassadorial role like Sir Bobby Charlton. You’ve got to support whoever gets the job after me because managing Manchester United is such a hard thing to do. The great thing about the club is that the manager is the most important person, and whoever comes in will realise that.”

Just as we will find it difficult to come to terms when he leaves, Ferguson admits he is really struggling with the idea of leaving his job as manager of Manchester United. “Once you’re ensconced at United, it becomes really hard to leave,” he added. “You get ingrained into the place and it gets harder to even contemplate retiring or think about the day you won’t be here. That will happen, of course, and it’s something I’ll have to face.”