Manchester United legend Alex Ferguson in critical condition after brain surgery
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.
🙏🏼 🙏🏼 Sir Alex— David de Gea (@D_DeGea) May 5, 2018
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— Michael Carrick (@carras16) May 5, 2018
Gutted to hear the news tonight about Sir Alex. Don’t really know what else to say other than thoughts and prayers with you and your family, Boss 🙏🏾🙏🏾— Ashley Young (@youngy18) May 5, 2018
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.
The thoughts and prayers of everyone connected with Aberdeen Football Club are with our former manager, Sir Alex Ferguson and his family following tonight’s news. pic.twitter.com/Y20wWRzDy0— Aberdeen FC (@AberdeenFC) May 5, 2018
Everybody at the Club sends their best wishes to Sir Alex Ferguson for a full and speedy recovery following his emergency surgery today. pic.twitter.com/bCqtsxRvu3— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) May 5, 2018
Very sorry to hear the news that Sir Alex Ferguson is seriously ill in hospital. Wish him all the very best.— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) May 5, 2018
Everyone at the NBA would like to send our very best wishes to Sir Alex Ferguson and his loved ones at this difficult time. pic.twitter.com/MyAI9lhSAd— NBA UK (@NBAUK) May 5, 2018
We are saddened to hear Sir Alex Ferguson has been taken ill. All at West Bromwich Albion wish one of the game's great champions a full and speedy recovery. pic.twitter.com/SatrzMCyOb— West Bromwich Albion (@WBA) May 5, 2018