Despite being released by the manager, Paul McGrath has voiced his praise for Alex Ferguson, following his retirement as manager for Manchester United after 27 years.

Speaking with Sports Breakfast on Talkport McGrath said, “I’m very shocked this morning.  I thought with winning the title he might push the envelope out again so it’s a big shock, but it had to happen some time.”

Alex Ferguson shocked fans announcing his retirement  following Manchester’s 20th league title.  McGrath played three years under Ferguson and commended the manager’s ability to see the big picture for United. 

He explained that, “Not in my wildest dreams did I think he’d be there as long as he has been.  He got rid of players, myself included, that he thought were upsetting the rhythm of the club.  No one was bigger than the club. Everything he did he did for Manchester United and I think the fans have been blessed to have him there for the years he has been there.”

In his 27 exceptional years, Ferguson led Manchester United to 13 league titles along with two Champions League titles in 1999 and 2008. 

McGrath summed up Ferguson’s illustrious career saying that, “What he has done is the impossible for Manchester United. He’s put them on top as a world football team. The respect around the world now that Manchester United has has been built by Sir Alex.” 

He added, “It’s an incredible feat that he has achieved and now that the bombshell has dropped, it’s a sad loss for football. I was one of those people who probably didn’t get on with him too well but he showed me great respect after I left the club.”


Former Ireland International player Paul McGrathPA Archive/Press Association Images