Ferguson explained the personal decision he had made to call it a day after 26 glorious years at the helm of the Premier League champions.
“I decided to retire last Christmas,” said Ferguson. “Things changed when my wife Cathy’s sister died. She has lost her best friend, her sister. Also, I wanted to go out a winner.
“It was very difficult [not to reveal it]. There were times when we sometimes blurted it out to the family. We told our sons in March. My brother didn’t even know until Tuesday.
I’ve got a lot of things to do. My son, Jason, has been organising things. I won’t be sitting still.”
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Since Guus Hiddink arrived at the helm, Chelsea have improved considerably after a tricky start to the campaign.
Newcastle United are staring down the barrel of relegation to the Championship for the second time in the past eight years.