Manchester United legend Alex Ferguson in critical condition after brain surgery

Manchester United legend Alex Ferguson in critical condition after brain surgery
Alex Ferguson, the legendary former manager of Manchester United, is in critical condition after undergoing emergency surgery for a brain hemorrhage.

The 76-year-old Scot was hospitalized Saturday morning after an ambulance was reportedly called to his home. "The procedure has gone very well but he needs a period of intensive care to optimize his recovery," Manchester United said in a statement. "His family request privacy in this matter."

Darren Ferguson, the son of the former Aberdeen and Manchester United boss, was not in the dugout for his game as Doncaster Rovers manager against Wigan this weekend. Doncaster cited “family reasons” for his absence.

Alex Ferguson was United manager from 1986 to 2013. During that time he won the Champions League twice and the Premier League 13 times. Previous to that, he was manager at Aberdeen, where he won the Scottish league three times and the European Cup Winners Cup, the only European success in the club’s history.

He last attended a game at Old Trafford on April 29 when he watched United snatch a 2-1 win over Arsenal thanks to late winner from Marouane Fellaini. He seemed the picture of health as he presented Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, his one-time rival, with a gift before the game to mark the end of his 22-year spell in charge of the North London club.

Ferguson reportedly took Pep Guardiola out to dinner to congratulate the Manchester City boss after United’s city neighbors sealed the Premier League title last month. The now non-executive director of United is said to have treated Guardiola, the man who twice beat United as manager of Barcelona in Champions League finals in 2009 and 2011.

United’s first-team stars have taken to Twitter to offer their thoughts and prayers for their former boss.

Rival clubs, their fans as well as organizations and figures from across the world of sport have sent similar messages of support. Aberdeen led the tributes to the club's former boss in a tweet posted to its official Twitter account.