'Thank you for everything', say Manchester United fans to Fergie
May 8, 2013 -- Updated 1543 GMT (2343 HKT)
"Teddy is very sad," wrote Instagram user @ejgemmag In Manchester, England, of her toy after hearing news of United manager Alex Ferguson's retirement.
Sadness in team's home town
Fans wear shirts with pride for 'Fergie'
'I got a tear in my eye'
'Devastated' by the news
Remembering the beautiful games
Mournful in Australia
'Interesting' future ahead for team
'Tough' to get used to
Wearing the shirt of the 'Red Devils'
Could change be good?
- Instagram users share photos of themselves and their friends and family emblazoned in Manchester United gear
- Tributes paid by "devastated" fans include a new tattoo by one user of the social media platform
- From Malaysia to Iceland, posts reflect breadth of United fan base for iconic team and its legendary manager
(CNN) -- It was as if someone had died. Fans from across the world poured out their grief after English soccer team Manchester United revealed that their legendary manager, Alex Ferguson, is to retire at the end of this season.
The showing of emotion was particularly apparent on the mobile photo sharing site Instagram, where fans shared photos of themselves and loved ones in United gear in honor of the famed manager, who steered the club to countless victories both in the UK and abroad.
"When I heard the news I got a tear in my eye, felt like I had been punched in the stomach and contemplated calling in sick to work," said Instagram user @jplubrani, who serves in the military in Los Angeles, California.
In Florida, Instagram user @sosogeed813 said he was "shocked" but at the same time was thankful for the legacy that Ferguson will leave the club.
Alex Ferguson's football legacy
Ferguson's retirement 'a sad day'
Will Mourinho replace Ferguson?
Thousands of miles away in Malaysia, Instagram user @shar316 pictured herself with a commemorative scarf and t-shirt as she reflected Ferguson's achievements at Old Trafford.
"Seeing my favorite team with another manager next season, that's gonna be tough," she wrote. "But nonetheless thank you for everything you've done, Sir Alex!"
One devastated fan went as far to make his devotion permanent.
After hearing the news, Instagram user @alexbalding went and got a tattoo of a "Red Devil" logo -- the team's nickname.
While the accolades poured in for the world's most famous football club manager, others pondered what life would be like for Manchester United after "Fergie", as he is affectionately known by fans, makes his exit.
"I was very sad to hear the news, but I guess that change might even be good," said @mrsagatha_sari in southern Finland.
Part of complete coverage on
Be part of CNN's coverage of European Champions League matches and join the social debate.
Some of the biggest names in football lined up for a charity match, but CNN's Tom McGowan wonders if they can help beat poverty.
March 4, 2014 -- Updated 1555 GMT (2355 HKT)
"Everyone is scared about war -- they are very nervous," former Ukraine football star Oleg Luzhny says of the rising tensions with Russia.
After a miserable Champions League defeat to Olympiakos, CNN's John Sinnott wonders if Manchester United is officially in trouble.
February 26, 2014 -- Updated 1807 GMT (0207 HKT)
Bayern Munich's present success rests on one key decision, chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge tells CNN.
February 18, 2014 -- Updated 0922 GMT (1722 HKT)
"More than a Club." It is an image Barcelona has carefully cultivated, but could the controversial deal to sign Neymar sour that view?
CNN's David Ford analyzes the changing face of Manchester City since Barcelona's last visit to the English club 11 years ago.
February 1, 2014 -- Updated 1825 GMT (0225 HKT)
Affectionately known as "the wise man of Hortaleza," Luis Aragones -- who died aged 75 -- left the legacy of helping Spain's ascension to the top.
January 23, 2014 -- Updated 2118 GMT (0518 HKT)
Real Madrid hasn't won the European Champions League in over a decade, but the Spanish club is invincible in one field -- making money.
January 16, 2014 -- Updated 1449 GMT (2249 HKT)
A ruling that Polish fans will not face legal action after anti-Semitic chanting sparks debate over whether it signals acceptance of such attacks.
The naming of the world's best footballer is not all that it seems, says CNN's James Masters.
If FIFA really cared about gay rights, why did it give the World Cup to a country where homosexuality is illegal, asks CNN's James Masters.
CNN's Alex Thomas takes a brave punt on the 2014 champion ahead of Friday's World Cup draw.
Today's five most popular stories