Fired Solskjaer’s final words as he left Man Utd had fan ‘bawling my eyes out’
The fan who was the last person to speak to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer before he drove away from Man United for good has admitted that he was moved by the axed manager's words before going viral for sharing a photo of the pair hugging.
Luke Sellers has endured a turbulent start to his first season as a season ticket holder at United's Old Trafford home, watching Solskjaer's out-of-form side slog through five defeats in seven Premier League games before the amiable Norwegian was sacked on Sunday.
The devoted supporter was at United's Carrington training base after the news of Solskjaer's departure was announced on Sunday, persuading the club legend to step out of his black vehicle for a hug as he left the training ground where he has worked with the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba for the last time.
"This hug is from all of us who stuck by him," said Sellers, sharing a snap of himself with his back to the camera while warmly embracing Solskjaer, who had waved apologetically to United fans on the pitch after overseeing a fatal 4-1 defeat to Watford in the Premier League on Saturday.
Just did an interview for Norwegian TV 🇳🇴 got to get my thoughts across 🇾🇪❤️ #MUFC— Luke 🇾🇪 (@lukesellers98) November 21, 2021
For a figure as passionate as the former striker is about the club, Solskjaer looked surprisingly cheery for a photo with Sellers, raising a half-smile as he sat in his car seat for the shot.
"I love this man with all my heart," Sellers said on Twitter, swiftly going viral as various news outlets and heavily-followed accounts spread his story.
When he was asked what Solskjaer had told him, Sellers revealed: "He said it had been an honor to be manager."
A fellow fan who had included the hashtag "thank you, Ole" in their profile told Sellers that Solskjaer's response was "absolutely world-class."
"Well done mate," they added, speaking after United pulled the plug on a coach who did not deliver any trophies despite assembling one of the most expensive squads in the world. "I’d have been in bits."
Sellers confessed he was struggling to contain his feelings. "Bawling my eyes out right now," he said, finding himself in star-studded company as he shared a message from UFC star Conor McGregor – a United fan – hailing Solskjaer.
He said it had been an honour to be manager ❤️— Luke 🇾🇪 (@lukesellers98) November 21, 2021
"I want to give a major shout out and a huge thank you to the living legend that is Ole Gunnar Solskjaer," wrote McGregor, sharing photos of Solskjaer's immortal moment in club colors when he won the 1999 Champions League for the club with virtually the last kick of the game in the final against Bayern Munich.
"Ole, you are forever, sir. Icon. Inspiration. Hero. Legend. Thank you, Ole."
I want to give a major shout out, and a huge thank you to the living legend that is Ole Gunnar Solskjær! Ole you are forever, Sir! Icon! Inspiration! Hero! Legend!Thank you Ole ❤️ @ManUtd— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) November 21, 2021
As emotional as his departure might have been, Solskjaer does have one hefty consolation: the 48-year-old has reportedly earned a pay-off of more than $10 million as severance to end his uneven three-year reign.
A cast of leading managers including Zinedine Zidane, Brendan Rodgers, Ralf Rangnick and Luis Enrique were being linked with the vacant role on Sunday.
United have said they are targeting an interim boss until the end of the season, with coaching staff member and former Red Devils midfielder Michael Carrick placed in temporary charge.
Their fourth defeat in five league games has left them seventh in the table, 12 points shy of leaders Chelsea.