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Local council honour Sir Alex

Former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has had a road near Old Trafford named after him.

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The 71-year-old, who retired at the end of last season as the most successful manager in British football history, has also been awarded the Honorary Freedom of the Borough of Trafford.

Both honours were awarded by Trafford Borough Council on a day in which the Scot's achievements in 26 years at the United helm were celebrated.

Ferguson attended ceremonies at the town hall and at the street formerly known as Water's Reach, adjacent to Old Trafford, which is now to be called Sir Alex Ferguson Way.

Ferguson, who won 13 Premier League titles and two Champions League titles with United, told those assembled at the latter: "It's a privilege and an honour to have a road named after me. You don't expect these things in life.

"It encapsulates probably the last 26 years - coming to the great club, the history of it. It's been an incredible journey for me, ending today for me to unveil this road sign: Sir Alex Ferguson Way.

"I'm really proud of that and I'm proud of everyone who has been associated with the club.

"I'd like to thank Manchester United for inviting me down here, 26 years ago. It was a fantastic elevation in my life and a challenge that I accepted. And we are where we are now.

"It's a great, great football club. You, the supporters, have enjoyed it. And I still think that a lot of our young fans don't remember that there were bad days. Dealing with bad days is what we're good at. This club will always go on.

"We've got a fantastic set-up, great staff, wonderful people and there's only one way and that's up for Manchester United.

"I thank everybody for being here - all my friends, all my family and my wife, the boss! She picked all the winning teams, by the way.

"Thanks for coming here, thanks to the Mayor and Trafford Borough for this fantastic honour and the day we've had today at the town hall. It's been absolutely brilliant."

Sir Alex Ferguson Way is close to another stadium approach road, Sir Matt Busby Way, named after one of his illustrious United predecessors.

The Honorary Freedom is the highest honour which the council can bestow and recognises an eminent contribution to services in the borough. He is one of only three people to have received this honour since the council was formed in 1974.

Councillor Matthew Colledge, leader of the council, said: "After 26 years of strong leadership and success at Manchester United, we felt that it was a fitting tribute to honour Sir Alex with the Freedom of the Borough.

"His success at Manchester United has made a significant contribution to not only football but Trafford itself. Manchester United has become one of the world's most successful clubs and that success makes a big contribution to the local economy, in terms of both jobs and the visitors the club attracts."

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