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Carnival end to ‘Fergie Time’

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ROWDIES-FANSLONDON, England, May 19- The curtain was brought down on a remarkable career as Sir Alex Ferguson took charge of Manchester United for the last time against West Brom with a carnival atmosphere at The Hawthorns fittingly decorated by a breathtaking ten goal thriller.

The 71-year-old Scot, who will be replaced by David Moyes, won 13 league titles, two European Cups, five FA Cups, two League Cups and a European Cup-Winners’ Cup in his time at Old Trafford.

And his 27-year reign ended with a 10-goal thriller as West Brom fought back from 5-2 down to draw 5-5 with the champions.

Ferguson was given a guard of honour from both teams and a rapturous ovation from the fans as he walked on to the pitch at The Hawthorns.

He was then comically handed a fresh packet of chewing gum by the West Brom mascot, Baggie Bird.

It didn’t take long for Ferguson’s team to go in front as Shinji Kagawa opened the scoring in the sixth minute,
before a Jonas Olsson own goal three minutes later gave Manchester United a 2-0 lead.

Alexander Buttner made it 3-0 for United after half an hour but James Morrison pulled one back for the hosts just before half time.

Romelu Lukaku then scored in the 50th minute to spark hopes of a West Brom comeback, but Robin van Persie and Javier Hernandez extended United’s lead.

Amazingly, West Brom pulled it back to 5-5 with four minutes remaining through two goals from Lukaku and one from Youssouf Mulumbu.

FERGIE-APLAUDThere was a feverish atmosphere outside the ground prior to the match with souvenir scarves and programmes selling rapidly.

One cunning fan incredibly snapped up 700 of the special edition programmes at a cost of £2,800.

At 144 pages, the programme, selling at £4 each, is the biggest ever produced for a domestic fixture in England.

Twenty thousand copes were printed, 17,500 more than the amount produced for West Brom’s home fixture against Wigan two weeks ago.

Another supporter purchased 300 copies for £1,200, which means that one twentieth of the total editions printed are in the hands of two people.

The programmes, which feature a 40-page tribute to Ferguson, are in hot demand and the club had already sold over 5,000 online by Friday.

Daily Mail

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