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Thank you, Sir Alex Ferguson

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Sir Alex Ferguson applauds the fans. Photograph: Phil Noble/Reuters

There have been plenty of tributes to the great man on the Internet since last Wednesday and many of them have said what I felt in my heart about the best football manager in the world.

Seriously, there’s nothing more I can say, except that I cried really badly last night from the moment Fergie walked out of the tunnel towards the guard of honour his players had formed for him to the moment he began his final speech at Old Trafford. In fact, I welled up every time I read another tribute to Fergie. It’s that bad.

It was 1am and I was a blubbering mess, with tears welling up and sniffles in my nose. It felt equivalent to a heart broken by a failed relationship. I had been grieving a loss since last year, so yes, I am very familiar with the concept of a heartbreak.

I am Manchester United through and through. I have been a fan ever since I watched Eric Cantona with his popped collar volleyed the ball past the throngs of players to score the only goal against Liverpool in the 1996 FA Cup final. United won 1:0 and my football soul was pledged to the team ever since. The mesmerising moment can be found in the video below.

So yes, I have never known a world without Sir Alex as the manager of Manchester United. Because of SAF, I have known and lived the pride and joys (and pains) of being a red.

Standing on the pitch, Ferguson told the crowd: “I have absolutely no script in my mind. I’m just going to ramble on and hope I get to the core of what this football club has meant to me. Thank you to Manchester United, not just the directors, coaching staff, medical staff, the players, the fans, all of you – you have been the most fantastic experience of my life, so thank you. I’ve been very fortunate. I have been able to manage some of the greatest players in the country, let alone Manchester United.”

Thank you, SAF, for 27 years of glory, late comebacks, last-minute winners, the wins and even the defeats. You too have given me some of the best experiences and memories of Manchester United. Because of you, the impossible dream was made possible.

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When I saw you I fell in love

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Two years ago today, we went to two bars near my workplace and our lives have intertwined ever since.

It was a weekday, I remember. I went to the gym after work with my colleagues. And we had been texting each other the whole day making plans to meet up.

You had recently put on braces and you had difficulty eating. You were texting me during your dinner with your friends and you were miserable because you couldn’t finish your food and we all know how much you’d love to finish your food.

I was consoling you the whole time I was with my colleagues. I was hardly paying attention to them because you were all I could think about. I was eager to see you and you were keen as well.

You were not too far away from where I was. I was going to have dinner while you were heading to a bar near my workplace for drinks. You asked me if I would like to join you and your friends. I said yes immediately.

But it took me more than an hour to get to where you were because I took the wrong bus and there was no cab. I was so anxious, for every minute I spent being lost was a minute I couldn’t spend with you.

I called my friend Spud along because the shy personality in me didn’t want to feel left out when you were your friends.

We finally arrived. Spud wanted to smoke first. We ordered beers. You came downstairs to meet us. I remember your smile as though it was just yesterday. You were in a black cotton three-quarter sleeved jersey with a rainbow print. And you made the butterflies in my stomach flutter like a tornado.

We said hi and promised to go upstairs to where you were. We went up and sat on the couch next to you. But we were awkward and self-conscious in making small talk with your friends. You were playing “guess the lyrics” with your friends. My friend was telling me how troubled she was at work. All I could think about was that you were sitting less than a metre away from me.

Soon it was closing time. You came over and sat very close to me. My heart leapt and started beating fast. You were already tipsy from your wine and yet you finished my drink for me when I asked you to. I asked if you were tired and if you want to go to a bar, which was a street away, with us and you said yes. Your friend was concerned and wanted to send you home but you told her you’d be fine and I’d take care of you.

So we walked over. You held onto me to steady your steps. The memory of your fragrance still lingers in my mind now. We were at the bar and we ordered whiskey dry – our favourite drink – as we settled back at a quiet corner immersed in our own world. Spud was busy entertaining her friends while both of us were feeling comfortable in each other’s company.

Soon it was closing time. Spud pulled you aside to tell you something. It looked serious. I was puzzled. When we got into a cab, I asked what Spud had said to you and you refused to tell me. I asked you again. You were insistent that you didn’t want to talk about it.

Somehow we went up to my place. And as we lay there beside each other, we talked about everything and nothing. The alcohol was making us drowsy. I turned to my side and spooned you. You felt right in my arms. You snuggled closer to me. Time should have stopped right then and life would have been perfect.

You finally told me what Spud said and we confessed our true feelings. I held you closer, wishing that time would pause so this moment could last forever.

There was once when we were chatting on Whatsapp and we concluded that I made you so happy that I was the equivalent of the wonderful things in life such as “rainbows, babies and laughter” and I even wrote a blog post about it.

Two years has since passed. Do you still feel what I feel? I once asked:

Were two people to fall in love, would it be over something heart jolting or would it simply be because two people accidentally found someone who make them laugh, tuck them in bed and keep them warm, enjoy sharing a meal or snacks with them and are comfortable spending time together?

What do you think?

Because I feel you complete me. I really do.