The Scot, one of the longest-running managers in history, brings to an end a reign which has seen him claim 38 trophies, including 13 league titles and 2 Champions League trophies, in a period of unprecedented success for the club. Ferguson stated that: "The decision to retire is one that I have thought a great deal about. It is the right time.
"The quality of this league winning squad, and the balance of ages within it, bodes well for continued success at the highest level whilst the structure of the youth set-up will ensure that the long-term future of the club remains a bright one."
"As for my players and staff, past and present, I would like to thank them all for a staggering level of professional conduct and dedication that has helped to deliver so many memorable triumphs. Without their contribution the history of this great club would not be as rich."
As well as thanking his family and the staff at the club, Ferguson reserved his last tribute for the Manchester United supporters. "To the fans, thank you. The support you have provided over the years has been truly humbling. It has been an honour and an enormous privilege to have had the opportunity to lead your club and I have treasured my time as manager of Manchester United."
There will now be intense speculation over who will succeed Ferguson, with David Moyes the current frontrunner.