Alex Ferguson resignation dominates Twitter

Official hashtag #ThankYouSirAlex becomes number one worldwide topic in just eight minutes

News that Manchester United's manager is set to leave the club sees official hashtag hit worldwide number one in just eight minutes.

Within one hour of Sir Alex Ferguson retiring as manager of Manchester United more than 1.4 million tweets mentioning the news were sent, according to Twitter.

News of Ferguson's resignation as the manager of Manchester United broke at 9:18am via the club's official Twitter account.

Within that hour, more the post was retweeted more than 18,000 times. Another seven tweets, together with the announcement post, generated a total of 25,000 retweets.

The club set up an official hashtag for the announcement, #ThankYouSirAlex. According to Twitter, the hashtag – which was used in all of Manchester United's subsequent tweets and in the official press release – generated more than 100,000 mentions in the first hour.

The story is also dominating the UK's trending topics, with eight of the top ten spots in the UK and four out of ten globally.

It also revealed that #ThankYouSirAlex became Twitter's number one global trending topic within just eight minutes.

"Breaking news on Twitter is an established way to grow your account, and a hashtag is a way to group together a global conversation," the company said on its official blog. "That hashtag gave United’s fans a way to come together and discuss the news.

"Sport, and football in particular, is one of Twitter's most-talked about subjects. Seven out of ten of the most talked-about moments of 2012 on Twitter were sport-related, and today’s story was no different.

"As well as sharing the news with fellow enthusiasts, football fans use Twitter to see what their heroes and other high profile people have to say about a subject," it added.