Manchester United have announced David Moyes as their new manager, with the Scot replacing fellow countryman Sir Alex Ferguson at the helm on a six-year deal.
Moyes becomes United's 20th manager, and the seventh Scot, joining an illustrious list, which includes Sir Matt Busby, Tommy Docherty and, of course, Ferguson himself. He will begin on 1 July.
Sir Alex Ferguson was full of praise for his successor, in a statement release by United following much anticpation. "David is a man of great integrity with a strong work ethic. I've admired his work for a long time and approached him as far back as 1998 to discuss the position of Assistant Manager here.
"He was a young man then at the start of his career and has since gone on to do a magnificent job at Everton. There is no question he has all the qualities we expect of a manager at this Club.”
Moyes was said to have been "unanimously approved" by the club's board. On receiving the position, Moyes made it clear what a challenge it would be to live up to the 26-year legacy Ferguson had left behind. "It’s a great honour to be asked to be the next Manager of Manchester United. I am delighted that Sir Alex saw fit to recommend me for the job," the former Preston North End boss said.
"I know how hard it will be to follow the best manager ever, but the opportunity to manage Manchester United isn’t something that comes around very often and I’m really looking forward to taking up the post next season."
Everton earlier announced that Moyes will leave the club at the end of the season. A statement released by the Merseyside club confirmed Moyes had told chairman Bill Kenwright of his desire to succeed Sir Alex Ferguson at United when he retires at the end of this season, and that he would not be extending his contract with the Goodison Park club.
The statement continued: "The chairman, on behalf of the club, would like to place on record his thanks to David for the massive contribution he has made to Everton since his arrival in March 2002. He has been an outstanding manager."
The statement then paid tribute to Moyes - who has led the Toffees for over 500 games, who will remain in post for the rest of the season, before confirming the search for a successor would start now.
Moyes duly reciprocated the fond departure on receiving his new role, reflecting on a decade where he has seen Everton arguably punch above their weight, considering their financial standings. "I have had a terrific job at Everton, with a tremendous chairman and Board of Directors and a great set of players. Between now and the end of the season, I will do everything in my power to make sure we finish as high as possible in the table.
“Everton’s fantastic fans have played a big part in making my years at Goodison so enjoyable and I thank them wholeheartedly for the support they have given me and the players. Everton will be close to me for the rest of my life.”
Ferguson has never made any secret of his admiration for a fellow Glaswegian, stating as recently as February that a failure to secure a top-four berth was not a slight on Moyes.
"He's had ten years at Everton - you don't survive ten years in this game without making progress, that's obvious," said Ferguson.
"I don't think whether he gets in the top four changes mine, or anyone else's opinion of him."
Moyes will get his first taste of the difference between managing Everton and the job he is now set to undertake in July when he flies to Thailand for the start of United's pre-season tour. It is not uncommon in the Far East for United staff to find fans waiting outside rooms, whilst it is almost obligatory for scores to camp outside hotels throughout any Red Devils stay.
Moyes' first official game in charge will be the Community Shield against either Manchester City or Wigan at Wembley on August 11, which could have become Ferguson's 50th trophy. That statistic alone is enough to water the eyes of a man whose only silverware was the Second Division title he won at Preston in 2000.