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PFA chief Taylor: Football will be a 'poorer place' without Sir Alex Ferguson

The former player branded the Scot as "simply the best" after Manchester United announced he would step down as manager at the end of the season following 26 years at Old Trafford.

Professional Footballers' Association chief executive Gordon Taylor believes football will be a "poorer place" after Sir Alex Ferguson announced his retirement as Manchester United manager on Wednesday morning.

Sir Alex confirmed that he will stand down from his Old Trafford post after 26 success-laden years at the end of the current season, and just over two weeks after winning a 13th and final Premier League title as United boss.

The 71-year-old, whose haul of 38 trophies makes him the most decorated manager in the history of English football, and Taylor has praised his peerless dedication to the development of young players, as well as laying down the gauntlet to his successor.

"The game of football will be a lot poorer place without him," Taylor told Press Association Sport. "He has been quite simply the best. He followed in Sir Matt Busby's footsteps and even surpassed him. He will be also be the toughest act to follow. 

"I will miss him - he has been a very good friend of the PFA throughout his career. Of course at times it has not always been smooth and we have had a difference of opinion but we always respected each other and we have had a lot more agreements than disagreements. He is a great football man, he has turned out team after team and in terms of youth development he has been one of the finest exponents of that. He has had a faith and a belief in his youngsters that is rare in today's football."

Sir Alex will bid farewell to the United support after the final home match against Swansea on May 12, before settling into his new role upstairs as a club ambassador.

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