Alex Ferguson said he would have definitely carried on as Manchester United manager if it was not for the death of his wife's sister.
Ferguson called time on his tenure in 2013 after winning 38 trophies in 26 glorious years at Old Trafford.
The 73-year-old's retirement, despite is age, surprised many and the Scot said he had no plans to retire but he wanted to be by wife Cathy's side following the death of her twin sister Bridget Robertson three years ago.
"I definitely would have carried on," Ferguson told the Telegraph.
"I saw she [Cathy Ferguson] was watching television one night, and she looked up at the ceiling. I knew she was isolated. Her and Bridget were twins, you know?
"But when I told her this time I was going to retire she had no objection whatsoever. I knew she wanted me to do it."
David Moyes was swiftly appointed as Ferguson's replacement in May 2013 but his countryman's reign was short-lived, sacked less than a year into a six-year deal after overseeing United's worst ever Premier League season.
There were suggestions Moyes - since replaced by Louis van Gaal - was left with a declining squad, who had claimed a 20th Premier League title the season prior with Nemanja Vidic, Rio Ferdinand, Patrice Evra and Robin van Persie on board, but Ferguson strongly disagreed.
Ferguson added: "Even when I knew I was retiring we still tried to put some things in place, with players coming in.
"Like everything I say about Manchester United, the bus was still moving forward. No one was getting left behind. Everyone was optimistic about where we were going."
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