1. ITV Report

Fans queue for signed copy of Ferguson autobiography

Thousands queued in Manchester to meet Sir Alex Ferguson. Photo: PA

Thousands of football fans have queued in Manchester to meet Sir Alex Ferguson and pick up a signed copy of his new autobiography.

More than 100 people camped overnight at the Tesco Extra store in Stretford to see the former Manchester United boss - some of whom had earlier attended Wednesday's Champions League win over Real Sociedad.

One lucky fan, Sharon Warwick, 41, from Colwyn Bay, Wales, who began camping outside Tesco's Stretford Extra store at midnight on Tuesday got a surprise visit from Sir Alex at 6.30pm on Wednesday night.

On his way to Old Trafford he signed a book for her and her mother.

By 8am on Thursday about 1,000 fans had gathered and were given wristbands by security to hold their place in the queue as the crowds increased later.

Near the front of the queue for the signed copies of Alex Ferguson: My Autobiography was Nicola Fay, 38, from Wythenshawe, Manchester.

She said: "I'm so pleased as the book is for a friend of mine who lives in Thailand and is a big Man Utd fan too. I'm queuing for him.

"I got here at 7.30pm and the place was already buzzing. I bought a quilt from Tesco and even managed to get a few hours' sleep.

"Sir Alex is my hero but when I meet him I'm going to ask who his hero is."

Tesco book buyer Hazel Powell said: "The turnout for this historic event has been fantastic and is the biggest crowd we've ever had for a book signing.

"There has been a lot of excitement about the book which we forecast will not only be the top selling autobiography of the year but also in the top five books released in 2013.

"The book is already being talked about not only by Manchester United supporters but football fans across the world."

Thursday's event was the sole UK signing of Sir Alex's second autobiography.

Mark Wood, 34, from Audenshaw, Tameside, had arrived at 7am and finally got his book signed at 2pm.

A season ticket holder in the East Stand at Old Trafford, said: "It was worth every minute of the wait. We had a nice little chat. I said to him, 'You've been told a thousand times, but thank's for everything you have done'. He said, 'It's a pleasure'.

"He is Manchester United. People of all ages are here. Kids have only ever known him and for the older generation he's been the boss for the majority of their lives. He's touched a lot of people's lives."

Not all fans were lucky though - with one party from Holland pleading to jump the queue as they had to catch a plane - but were refused, according to locals.

At the back of the queue Adnan Uflaz, 61, who lives in Stretford after moving to the UK from Turkey 30 years ago, was still hours away from seeing his hero, having arrived at 9.30am.

He said: "I'm a big fan, he is the greatest, a very special person in our hearts and in our lives."

Asked if current Old Trafford incumbent David Moyes would ever see a day like this, Mr Uflaz paused and replied: "At the moment, it doesn't look like it."

During Sir Alex's 26-year reign at Manchester United he became the most successful manager in the history of British football winning 13 league titles, two Champions League crowns, five FA Cups and four league cups.

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