Brace yourself, the Alex Ferguson social media tributes are coming – and they are coming thick and fast, according to stats from Twitter UK.
Manchester United Football Club manager Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement after 26 years with the club was announced via the Twitter account of the club’s press office with a succinct, “Sir Alex Ferguson retires. #thankyousiralex” at 9.18am this morning. The hashtag was also included in the official press release of the announcement and became the No 1 global trend within eight minutes, receiving 100,000 mentions within one hour.
In that first hour, tweets about the announcement reached 1.4m, equating to almost 400 tweets per second while the original tweet gained more than 18,000 retweets and favourites. In the UK, the story dominated Twitter’s trending topics, taking eight of the 10 spots and four out of 10 worldwide.
However, big news on Twitter – the global market square – is not without its confusion and misunderstanding. Twitter UK reports that Black Eyed Peas singer Fergie (a moniker that also happens to be Ferguson’s nickname) has also seen mentions of her account @Fergie go through the roof since the news of the football manager’s retirement broke.
Football fans are now flooding social networks with photos from yesteryear, statistics, well wishes and tributes. Even the captain of long-time rivals Manchester City FC Vincent Kompany has tweeted his respect for the English Premier League’s most successful manager.
MUFC plans to publish some of these online tributes in a #ThankYouSirAlex book, and fans are invited to leave messages for the retiring gaffer via the club’s official Facebook page.
Following his 13th Premier League title with the club, Ferguson will end his reign after the upcoming match against West Bromwich Albion on 19 May and will then join the board of Manchester United Football Club.
Main image of Alex Ferguson via Kafuffle/Wikimedia Commons