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By ESPN Staff

Ferguson given Old Trafford honour

Manchester United marked the 25th anniversary of Sir Alex Ferguson's appointment as manager of Manchester United by renaming Old Trafford's north stand in his honour.

The Scot, who took over the reins on November 6, 1986, walked out for Saturday's Premier League game against Sunderland through a guard of honour made up of both teams and Black Cats boss Steve Bruce, who played under Ferguson for nine years.

As the stadium stood to applaud the 69-year-old, the covers were taken off the new sign bearing the words Sir Alex Ferguson Stand, before the United boss addressed the fans and declared his pride at working for "the best club in the world''.

The honour was a surprise for Ferguson and marks the first time in the 101-year history of Old Trafford that a stand has been named after an individual.

A statue of Ferguson by sculptor Philip Jackson has also been commissioned and will be placed near the entrance to the stand when it is completed, which the club hope will be before the start of next season.

Chief executive David Gill said: "To be at a club of our standing for so long is truly remarkable.

"In that time Alex has established himself as the most successful manager in British football history, winning countless trophies and creating numerous sides admired around the world for their flair and ability.

"Alex's contribution to United has been immense and the magnificent stadium we have here at Old Trafford is a testament to his ability and success.

"The board felt it right to take this unique step, as well as to commission Philip Jackson to create a statue to go alongside his other great pieces here of Sir Matt and the United Trinity.

"These tributes are made with the grateful thanks of the owners, board, staff, players and fans of Manchester United, for the great pleasure Alex has brought us all over a quarter of a century.''

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