May 14 (UPI) -- Thousands of fans gave a warm goodbye to longtime Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger after he coached his last game for the Gunners.
Wenger, 68, is leaving the club after 22 years at the helm. He led the Gunners to a 1-0 win against Huddersfield Town Sunday at Kirklees Stadium in Huddersfield, England. After the final whistle, Terriers and Gunners fans teamed up to applaud Wenger.
"They have shown a lot of class and respect," Wenger said, according to Arsenal.com. "That shows you that in England people really love football and have a great respect. I enjoyed it very much and would like to thank them for that as well."
The veteran coach walked through a tunnel of supporters before the match. Several planes flew over the pitch with banners of support trailing behind, referencing Wenger.
Huddersfield's lap of appreciation meant the boss couldn't go over to our fans at full-time... but he was determined to pay our visiting supporters one final visit once the pitch had cleared 😊#MerciArsène pic.twitter.com/XfQWkzDCAB— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) May 13, 2018
Nearly every fan in the stadium stood up to applaud the coach in the 22nd minute, signifying his tenure with the club. He later walked to the corner of the field to gesture his gratitude toward the Gunners faithful.
Arsenal finished the season ranked No. 6 in the Premier League standings. The club finished No. 5 last season and second during the 2015-2016 campaign. Arsenal's last Premier League title came in the 2003-2004 season.
Thank you very much for the way in which you honoured Arsène Wenger today, @htafcdotcom 🤜🤛— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) May 13, 2018
As you can see here, the boss was really grateful for the reception he received 👏#MerciArsène pic.twitter.com/4KTemjw8zI
Wenger's tenure included 1,235 games, seven FA Cups, three Premier League titles and an undefeated season.
"It's difficult you know. It's such an emotional day, after 1,235 games, to realize it's your last one is very difficult," Wenger said. "For me, for it to be a happy day it has to be a win, so it was a great day because there was a celebration for Huddersfield, they stayed in the league, and for us it was my last game."
"Overall I am very happy. It finishes well and I wish success to the club in the future. We have a great club and a great team, and with a few additions this team will challenge next year, I'm convinced. They have a great spirit and I will follow that with very, very scrupulous attention."