Arsene Wenger was given an emotional send-off by Arsenal supporters as he took charge of the final home game of his mammoth managerial tenure on Sunday.
The Frenchman is stepping down as Gunners boss after 22 years at the helm and it was a day to remember as his side thrashed Burnley at the Emirates Stadium.
Wenger watched his players produce an emphatic 5-0 win on the pitch but it was after the final whistle had sounded that he received a moving tribute.
Flanked by his entire playing staff, Wenger delivered a touching speech to supporters and began by sending his best wishes to former adversary Sir Alex Ferguson.
He said: ‘I would first like to wish my fellow manager, Alex Ferguson, to get well very quickly.
‘Thank you all for having me for such a long time, I know that’s not easy, but above all I am like you, I am an Arsenal fan.
‘That means this is just more than watching football, it is a way of life, it is caring about the beautiful game, the values we cherish, and something that goes through all of our body, we care, we worry, we are desperate.’
He added: ‘I would like to thank everyone at this club who makes this place so special, I want you to support the staff left behind me. This group of players has a special quality on and off the pitch. Support this team next season, they really deserve it.
‘I would like to finish with a simple word – I will miss you… Thank you all for being such an important part of my life. Thank you, well done, bye bye.’
Arsenal legend Bob Wilson also delivered a moving speech alongside Pat Rice, Wenger’s former assistant manager, and presented the Frenchman with a golden trophy – originally awarded after the Gunners’ ‘Invincibles’ season.
‘When Arsene Wenger first arrived at Arsenal, everyone was asking Arsene Who? I was privileged to be the Arsenal goalkeeping coach when he arrived, and it was quickly clear this man knew exactly who he was,’ said Wilson.
‘Arsene Wenger the visionary, an inspiration, he has built the Arsenal we know and love. He lives and breathes club values. He has changed the face of football in this country, hundreds of players owe their careers to him.
‘Arsene is a man who cares deeply about people and helping people be the players they can be, like George Weah, taken from war-torn Liberia to player of the year, to being his country’s president. He has always referred to Arsene as his father figure.
‘Arsene Wenger is the greatest manager we have ever had. One of football’s biggest figures in this global age and a special man.’