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Ferguson's wife unveils statue of the Man Utd boss

The 9ft bronze statue of Sir Alex Ferguson was unveiled at Old Trafford. Photo: Martin Rickett/PA Wire

Sir Alex Ferguson joked that he had "outlived death" as the latest tribute to his remarkable career was unveiled at Old Trafford today.

Ferguson's wife Cathy unveiled a statue of the Manchester United manager in front of a host of football dignitaries and a host of former players, including Eric Cantona, Ruud van Nistelrooy and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

In addition, Cristiano Ronaldo, David Beckham and former Prime Minister Tony Blair were among those to pay tribute by video.

The nine-foot high statue, created by renowned sculptor Philip Jackson, depicts Ferguson by the touchline, arms folded, concentrating on the game.

Ferguson was suitably impressed by the creation, which has been positioned outside the stand which bears his name.

"Normally people die before they have a statue," Ferguson said. "I am outliving death."

Ferguson joked that Cathy had promised him that "she would come down here every Saturday morning and bow to the statue".

The Scot added: "My three sons, daughters-in-law and grandchildren can all come down here on a Saturday."

There were also plenty of fans present for the ceremony, which was conducted by TV presenter and lifelong United fan Eamonn Holmes.

"I've had an incredible journey at the club and so many great players, some of whom are here today," Ferguson said.

"They should build this statue for them all, because they've all been absolutely marvellous.

"From 1986 right through to today the players have given us enormous pleasure.

"Everyone has had a part to play, from the players to the coaching staff, medical staff and, of course, the fans."

After attending the unveiling, Ferguson went into the North Stand to view the pictures of the great achievements of his staggering reign.

"Everyone can talk eloquently about the great football teams he has built and world-class players he has developed and managed," United chief executive David Gill said.

"They can talk about the hairdryer and Fergie time.

"But for me, as a fan, a colleague and a friend, the greatest thing he has brought back to this club is respect.

"Respect for the staff, respect for the heritage and history of the club and respect for the Manchester United way."

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