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Manchester Turns Red

United Parade 071Manchester turned red as United’s victory parade celebrated a record 20th league title. It was also retiring manager Sir Alex Ferguson’s farewell that the city that he has put right at the centre of the world’s footballing map.

Paul Scholes is not one for the limelight, but he will be waving goodbye to fans for the last time after deciding to hang up his boots.

The parade began with a send-off event at the stadium at 6pm before leaving Sir Matt Busby Way half an hour later and travelling a 2.5-mile route to Manchester town hall.

With 20,000 fans packed into Sir Matt Busby Way, roads had to be closed prior to the Red Devils’ departure. And whilst there was space along the main route into the city centre, once the bus headed down the main shopping area, Deansgate, supporters found a variety of vantage points to see the team drive past.

Rio Ferdinand and Ashley Young, who at times ditched the crutches he is supposed to be using to nurse an ankle injury that has ended his season, led the singing, with Ferguson also joining in, and even forced Paul Scholes onto centre stage for a rare interview.

The title-winning squad travelled along Chester Road and Deansgate in a custom-designed double decker bus bearing a ‘Champions 2013’ logo.

In Albert Square came the true party. The Courteeners, Status Quo and the obligatory ‘We are the Champions’ ensured this would be a celebration right to the end.

The celebrations culminated with a 20-minute appearance from the Premier League champions in front of thousands of fans in the square.

Ferguson’s career deserved nothing less.

He came along and grasped the challenge of waking United from their slumber with both hands.  And yesterday he had the city in his palm.

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Audio from Albert Square

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