Fresh from his sacking as Manchester United boss on Tuesday, Jose Mourinho held a farewell lunch at the Lowry Hotel in Manchester, where he’d been staying during his two years at the club.
Relations with players and fans of the Red Devils may have soured during this season’s pitfalls, but the bond between the 55-year-old and the staff at the plush hotel he frequented ended very sweetly, according to eyewitnesses.
The Portuguese manager had been living at the Lowry Hotel since the summer of 2016, and during his lengthy stay he’d become a familiar face to staff at the hotel.
But on Tuesday he bid them farewell for the final time.
After being informed of his sacking at Carrington, Mourinho appeared in “good spirits”, according to one unnamed resident at the hotel.
“It looked like he was doing his paperwork, having a snack and saying his goodbyes,” they told the Daily Mail .
“He made a point of seeking some people out and it looked like he was in good spirits.
“A lot of the staff appeared to be very upset and a couple went for a hug.”
Mourinho led United to League Cup and a Europa League titles, but his team disappointed this year.
Losing 3-1 to leaders Liverpool on Sunday, United now find themselves 19 points off the pace – despite having spent as much as £400 million on players during the Portuguese’s tenure.
Mourinho’s termination is expected to cost the club £18 million in severances.
A United statement said: “A caretaker manager will be appointed until the end of the season while the club conducts a thorough recruitment process for a new, full-time manager.
“The club would like to thank Jose for his work during his time at Manchester United and to wish him success in the future.”
Club legend Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has reportedly been named as his interim successor until the end of the season.