It’s now been over seven years since Sir Alex Ferguson marked his retirement as Manchester United manager with a 5-5 draw with West Brom.
It was May 19th 2013 which marked the end of Fergie’s 26-year reign as United boss, a spell which saw him win 13 league titles, five FA Cups, four League cups, two European Cups and one Club World Cup. It was his 1500th game in charge and fittingly, it ended with a scoreline that had not happened once in the previous 1499 games!
All was going to plan for United as they sailed into a 3-0 lead with half an hour on the clock thanks to goals from Shinji Kagawa and Alexander Buttner, added to a Jonas Olsson own-goal.
From there, the game went wild and I spoke to Baggies’ legend James Morrison about his memories from that day.
It was the Scottish star who started the comeback for Albion with a cool finish on 40 minutes and he insists the Baggies weren’t there for a retirement party.
Being a part of a great manager’s final game was massive just for the respect he has, I regarded him very highly. But as a team, we wanted to upset the party and everyone in the team wanted that.
Loan star Romelu Lukaku was introduced at the break and when he made the score 3-2 in the 50th minute, Albion fans starting to believe a comeback was on.
However, 13 minutes later goals from Robin Van Persie and Javier Hernandez made the score 2-5, Fergie seemingly signing off with a resounding victory.
The game had the feel of a testimonial match until two goals in two minutes from Lukaku and Youssouf Mulumbu made the score 4-5. United were stunned and Albion were on top.
In the 86th minute, the comeback was complete. A searching ball from Graham Dorrans found Mulumbu who put the ball across the box, and after a scramble, Lukaku tapped in to complete his second-half hat trick. The Hawthorns erupted, Albion had ruined Sir Alex’s big day.
Morrison looks back on that game with fine memory.
It was a great achievement to fight back and score 5 goals against a top team.
The Baggies were capping off their best top flight season since 1981, finishing eighth. The campaign included a double over Liverpool and memorable wins against Chelsea, Everton and Sunderland.
Morrison was a spearhead for the successful campaign and finished third in the Fans’ player of the season vote, only behind Lukaku and Gareth McAuley.
United ended the season as champions, 11 point clear of runners-up Manchester City, the biggest winning margin since Chelsea’s 2004-05 season.