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05/10/2013

Sir Alex Ferguson retires and a 'squeaky bum time'

News that Sir Alex Ferguson is to retire after this soccer season made waves in more than just the sporting world. And for those of you who don't follow sport, trust me -- this is officially a Big Deal.

Along with his 13 Premier League titles and take-no-guff attitude, the longtime Manchester United manager is admired for coining interesting phrases such as"squeaky bum time," which nicely describes the final, tense minutes of an important sporting event. 

Off the football pitch (sorry, soccer field) the 71-year-old is also well-known in the United Kingdom for his support of the opposition Labour Party. And so Westminster weighed in on his departure, too -- and the news virtually knocked the Queen's Speech, in which the British government lays out its legislative plans for the coming year, off the front pages

Labour party leader Ed Miliband tweeted: "Proud man. Great manager. Staunch Labour Party supporter. Sir Alex Ferguson will never be forgotten." (Twitter tutted a bit after this, with many correspondents pointing out to Miliband that the Sir Alex was not, in fact, dead - just retiring.)

Despite the political divide, Prime Minister David Cameron also paid tribute to Sir Alex. On Twitter, the Conservative Party leader said Sir Alex's "achievement at #MUFC has been exceptional. Hopefully his retirement will make life a little easier for my team #AVFC." Cameron is a fan of Aston Villa Football Club.

And Tory Chancellor George Osborne, in whose constituency Sir Alex lives, also chimed in. 

"Have memories of a spectacularly unsuccessful attempt to canvass his house as a young candidate," he tweeted.

Spectacularly unsuccessful? Now that sounds to me like squeaky bum time.

Jennifer Quinn is a foreign affairs and investigative reporter at the Star. As a journalist with the Associated Press, based in London, she wrote extensively about British politics. Follow her on Twitter @JQStar.

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