Even with the title won and the retirement slippers beckoning, Ferguson's unbending iron will and drive to win was still very much in evidence.
It was a terrific send-off too. They usually do things in style at Old Trafford, and United pitched the farewell party pretty near perfectly.
Even walking into Old Trafford, one could sense this was an historic occasion. Rain-sodden United fans stood patiently in the long queues at the programme kiosks, determined to make sure they had their own printed memory of this day.
Inside the ground, a giant banner was unfurled in the Stretford End proclaiming: "Sir Alex - Immortal".
As kick-off neared, the pre-match music began to prepare for the moment: first Nat King Cole's 'Unforgettable' and then Frank Sinatra's 'My Way'.
Ol' Blue Eyes himself had still to appear however, and when he finally did a wonderful spectacle awaited him.
First, a huge United flag was laid across the pitch before Old Trafford became a sea of red as 73,000 flags, provided by the club and each stating merely 'Champions', were waved aloft. In a nice touch, the club also gave each Swansea fan a white flag saying 'Capital One Cup winners' to wave alongside the red.
Then came the moment as the United and Swansea players formed a guard of honour and, ushered in by trumpeters, Sir Alex strode forth, hands tucked into his grey coat and his black fleece zipped to the neck.
He appeared slightly uncomfortable at the adulation and clapped the four sides of the ground briefly before heading for the safety of the dug-out, stopping on the way for a grateful squeeze to a staff member holding the fourth official's electronic board aloft reading "26, 38" - his record of 26 years and 38 trophies at United.
For all the sentimentality on show, Ferguson showed his iron resolve to the very end by denying Wayne Rooney a part in the proceedings.
Rooney told Ferguson two weeks ago that he wanted to leave United, feeling disenchanted at being unable to command the main striker's position that Robin van Persie has made his own this season.
There were some gasps of disbelief among United staff when the team-sheets were revealed and Rooney's name was nowhere to be seen, not even on a bench featuring Alexander Buttner, a player with just four league appearances for the club.
United officials confirmed it was a selection decision rather than an injury, and those who have followed the Ferguson years closely say the move - handing Rooney his just deserts for his apparent disloyalty - is entirely in character. The player himself was spotted in the stadium, heading for an executive box with a face like thunder.
There was, of course, the small matter of a match to get out of the way, though in truth it mattered little to either side. Javier Hernandez opened the scoring for United in the first half, with Michu responding with an excellent volley for a second-half equaliser that prompted Swansea fans to chant: "You're getting sacked in the morning".
History called for a late winner - though even more fitting for it to arrive in Fergie time - and Rio Ferdinand obliged, smashing home in the 87th minute - his first goal since 2008 - with a volley that had his manager leaping off his seat in delight.
With the match out of the way, Ferguson took to the microphone for an unscripted speech to the crowd that, by his own admission had him close to "blubbing".
After paying tribute to the fans, the club, to Scholes and Darren Fletcher - who is recovering from a serious illness - Ferguson finished by calling on the supporters to back his successor David Moyes - and with a warning to the players.
"Don't ever let yourselves down," he said, before returning to lift the Barclays Premier League trophy.
Words that could well serve as his epitaph.