As the news spread globally that Sir Alex Ferguson is to step down as manager of Manchester United after 27-years at Old Trafford, so quickly came the online reaction in the form of hilarious memes and jokes.

While some fans found comical ways to deal with the loss, others expressed their delight that a new era is about to start at the club.

Who will replace him? How will United cope? What will his departure mean for football? As ever football fans have reacted strongly and are making their opinions as clear as possible.

Ferguson's retirement announcement comes just two weeks after he celebrated winning his 13th league title for the Red Devils following a 3-0 victory against Aston Villa, meaning he bows out on a career high.

The 71-year-old football icon has won 38 trophies during his reign and will now become a director and ambassador for the club.

"It was important to me to leave an organisation in the strongest possible shape and I believe I have done so," Ferguson said.

"The quality of this league winning squad, and the balance of ages within it, bodes well for continued success at the highest level whilst the structure of the youth set-up will ensure that the long-term future of the club remains a bright one."

He will write on his tactics board for the last time this summer.

IBTimes UK has a looks at a few of the best Alex Ferguson internet memes.

Sir Alex Ferguson has announced his decision to retire from football, ending his 27-year period in charge of Manchester United.Reuters
Some fans have struggled to hold back the tearsInstagram
For many, Sir Alex Ferguson's chewing gum was an extension of himInstagram
He is the most decorated manager in English football historyInstagram
The former Aberdeen manager retires having won 28 major trophies at UnitedTwitter
He departs on a high after United recently confirmed their 13th Premier League title.Twitter
Ferguson will become a director when he retires as manager this summer.Twitter
David Moyes, Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer are amongst the contenders to replace Ferguson- but who will be brave enough to take on the job?Twitter
Could Ferguson's department signal the beginning of the end for some footballers? Some fans think so.Twitter
Michael Corleone has nothing on Sir AlexInstagram