Ferguson was visibly touched by the gesture.
He said: “It’s my last Press conference and I don’t mind saying I’m glad of that in one way.
“I think that dealing with the modern media is difficult for managers and I’ve been lucky I’ve been integrated into all the different stages in my time here.
“It got me in a position where sometimes I didn’t accept what you write and when I did see nice things I tended to dismiss it also.
“I’ve always thought you’ve had a difficult job under the pressure you’re under with modern television, the internet, Facebook, all the rest of the nonsense.
“But I’ve never held grudges. In all the times I’ve banned you I’ve never borne a grudge. I don’t think it’s my style. I react, then forget about it some time later.
“But thanks for the kind words and thanks for the fantastic times I’ve had here, even that’s sometimes with the Press, too. But thanks very much, I appreciate it.”