Former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson was taken in intensive care after emergency surgery was performed on him for a brain hemorrhage on Saturday amid an outpouring of affection and get-well messages from across football – including opponents in the past. Ferguson retired from managing United after almost 27 years in charge in 2013, the 76-year-old Ferguson had played a key role in the transition period and had been a regular at Old Trafford.
“Sir Alex Ferguson has undergone emergency surgery today for a brain hemorrhage,” United said in a statement. “The procedure has gone very well but he needs a period of intensive care to optimize his recovery. His family request privacy in this matter.”
Amid outpouring of support and get well wishes are two standout names in Cristiano Ronaldo and David Beckham – who Ferguson helped make into household names. “My thoughts and prayers are with you, my dear friend,” Ronaldo wrote on social media accounts. “Be strong, Boss!”
Alongside a picture of him signing a contract as a youngster, former Manchester United midfielder David Beckham wrote on Instagram : “Keep fighting Boss. Sending prayers and love to (wife) Cathy and the whole family.”
Beckham broke into the senior team in the 1990s having come through the youth ranks as Ferguson turned United into the country’s most successful club. Brought in from Scottish club Aberdeen in 1986, Ferguson held onto his United job despite taking until 1993 to end the club’s title drought. Ferguson retired as champion in 2013, lifting the Premier League trophy for a 13th time to take the club’s haul of English championship crowns to a record 20. His scale of achievements is underline further by United’s failure under three managers to win the Premier League in the five years since his retirement.
Manchester United captain Michael Carrick wrote on Twitter, “Absolutely devastated to hear about Sir Alex being unwell in hospital. All my thoughts and prayers are with him and his family. 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻 Be strong Boss xx”
Rivals Manchester City’s skipper Vincent Kompany also tweeted out his best wishes.
“It is tragic,” Everton manager Sam Allardyce said. “I hope he is in good hands and I hope the operation is a major success because as a personal friend … I hope he has a full recovery.”