Manchester United’s confirmation that former manager Sir Alex Ferguson has undergone emergency surgery for a brain haemorrhage has been met with an outpouring of well wishes on social media.
Tributes immediately flooded in for the most successful manager in the history of the British game, who had appeared fit and well when he presented his old sparring partner Arsene Wenger with a memento at Old Trafford last Sunday ahead of the Frenchman’s departure from Arsenal.
The Football Association, Premier League, FIFA, UEFA and individual clubs from Britain and around the world all tweeted their best wishes along with a host of current and former United players. The Scot retired in May 2013 after winning 38 trophies during 26 and a half years as manager.
David Beckham posted a picture on Instagram of him signing a contract as a teenager alongside Ferguson, accompanied by the message: “Keep fighting Boss.. Sending prayers and love to Cathy and the whole family x @manchesterunited”
Former United striker Wayne Rooney wrote on Twitter: “Get well soon Boss. Thoughts with all the family at this sad time. #AlexFerguson”, while Cristiano Ronaldo urged his former boss to “be strong.”
United club captain Michael Carrick and Ashley Young, whom Ferguson brought to Old Trafford in 2011, both took to Twitter to express their support, along with several other members of the current squad.
Mike Phelan, who played under Ferguson for United and later served as his assistant manager, said on Twitter: “#SirAlex You’ve won more than most and if anyone can you can boss.”
News of Ferguson’s condition emerged after Everton’s Premier League draw with Southampton.
Saints boss and former United striker Mark Hughes said: “I only just got a little whisper earlier on. I was hoping it wasn’t true. I wish him all the best.”
Everton manager Sam Allardyce, a long-time friend and adversary, said: “It is tragic. I am going to find out how he is as soon as I possibly can. Obviously I knew it was extremely serious when I knew his son Darren didn’t attend his own game at Doncaster today.
“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.”