MANCHESTER, England (AP) -- First came the stand, then a bronze statue. Now Alex Ferguson has had a road named after him close to Old Trafford to honor his more than 26 years as coach at Manchester United.
Surrounded by family, friends and United fans on a gray afternoon in Manchester, the 71-year-old Scot unveiled the road sign named ''Sir Alex Ferguson Way'' on a street adjacent to United's stadium.
''You don't expect these things in life,'' said a beaming Ferguson, who earlier Monday was given the Honorary Freedom of the Borough of Trafford at a formal ceremony nearby.
Ferguson ended his trophy-laden spell in charge of United in May and is now a director at the Premier League club. One of the sides of Old Trafford has been named the ''Sir Alex Ferguson Stand,'' and there is a 9-foot statue of Ferguson outside the stadium.
He led United to its 20th English league title last spring but the team is ninth in the standings after seven games under new manager David Moyes.
''I'd like to thank Manchester United for inviting me down here, 26 years ago. It was a fantastic elevation in my life and a challenge that I accepted. And we are where we are now,'' Ferguson said. ''I still think that a lot of our young fans don't remember that there were bad days. Dealing with bad days is what we're good at. This club will always go on.''
Another former United manager, the late Matt Busby, also has a street named after him close to the stadium.