Alex Ferguson was "fuming" he had to announce retirement earlier than expected 8 months ago

Alex Ferguson was "fuming" he had to announce retirement earlier than expected

His hand was reportedly forced on the issue

When Sir Alex Ferguson announced that he would be leaving Manchester United at the end of the 2012/13 season there was widespread sadness - if not shock - among Manchester United supporters.

Then in his early 70s, and after more than a quarter of a century of unmatched success at one of the biggest clubs, fans of the club were grateful for everything that the Scot had helped the club achieve.

Ferguson broke the news to his Manchester United squad prior to the decision being made public, despite having previously intended to keep it private until the appropriate time.

The news about his departure ended up being leaked and as such Ferguson was forced to address the rumours and confirm the news to his players earlier than he had planned.

In his new autobiography, Between the Lines, Michael Carrick has revealed how the news affected him and just how furious Ferguson - like most top managers a control freak - was at having to reveal the news before he had wanted to.

"I took in every detail. The boss began speaking and became quite emotional. 'Look, boys, I didn't want to do it this way.'

"'I wanted you to be the first to know. I'm really disappointed how it's come out. I really did want to be telling you first, but I've been forced to tell you now because it's come out last night. Someone's leaked it.'

"He was fuming about that. There couldn't have been many people who knew.

"Sir Alex went on, 'Look, boys, this is not something I've taken lightly.' He mentioned (his wife) Lady Cathy's sister passing away.

"'I feel that I owe it to my wife to be with her and look after her. It's been unbelievable and thanks for everything, I've loved every minute. I don't really want to go, but I've got to take this decision.'

"You could see it was hard for him to finally say, 'This is it, boys.'"