Sir Alex Ferguson book signing: Fans thrilled at 'Fergie time'

Sir Alex Ferguson at his book signing in Manchester Sir Alex Ferguson stepped down as Manchester United boss in May

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Thousands of fans have queued - some overnight - to get former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson to sign his new autobiography at a large superstore in sight of the club's Old Trafford stadium. So why did they come?

Fans flew from more than 6,000 miles away and they came from "just down the road".

They include those who remember "BF (Before Fergie)" and fans who can only recall the trophy-winning years.

Prawn sandwich met chip butty as supporters packed the store, with echoes of a match-day at Old Trafford or perhaps even a religious pilgrimage.

They cheered wildly when a man in his 70s in a smart dark blue suit arrived warning them to "be patient and not expect personalised messages to grandma".

Linda Unsworth, 64, Heald Green, Manchester

Linda Unsworth

I came straight from the Champions League match against Real Sociedad last night. I slept on the floor here at this store but it is worth it.

I want to buy the book for my mother - she is a big fan of Sir Alex.

I have been a season ticket-holder for 30 years in the days when we never won anything.

I want to thank Sir Alex for all the trophies we have won and for all he has done for us.

Hussain Ramadan, 29, Kuwait City

Hussain and Farah Ramadan

I am a microbiologist and have taken a week's holiday with my wife Farah flying more than 6,000 miles to Manchester so we could come to this.

We are also attending Saturday's home match against Stoke City.

I have been a Manchester United fan since the 1998-99 Champions League when I saw how the team came back to win it.

Sir Alex Ferguson has rebuilt Manchester United into a formidable football team.

I want to thank him but also say I wish he could have stayed longer.

Robert McCallum, 25, and Natalie Ashton, 20, Manchester

Robert McCallum and Natalie Ashton

We want to ask Sir Alex if he would perform our wedding ceremony.

We've been engaged for two and a half years.

We know he might need a licence but it would mean a lot to us if he could.

We have been here since 02:30.

Kevin Reed, 47, Sale

Kevin Reed

I got him to sign his first book in 1992 and as a thank-you I have even brought him a 15-year-old bottle of Shiraz.

He means everything to us.

There will never be another Sir Alex Ferguson or that kind of manager in my lifetime.

I am really looking forward to reading the book and I think it will be inspirational, not just for the football stories.

I think I will be able to learn some tips about how to manage in the business world.

Simon Manseri, 28, Salford

Simon Manseri

Last week Sir Alex Ferguson came to Trafford Council offices - where I am based as a social worker - to receive the Freedom of Trafford but I was not in the office at the time.

I was absolutely gutted to miss him, I couldn't believe it.

All I want to say to him is thank you.

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