The sporting world has sent heartfelt wishes to legendary former football manager Sir Alex Ferguson, who has undergone emergency surgery for a subarachnoid brain haemorrhage.
Former Manchester United icon Cristiano Ronaldo, who bloomed into one of the finest players of all time under Ferguson, lead the messages of well wishing by urging the 76-year-old to ‘be strong.’
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has also given his backing Ferguson to battle through the illness and get back to full health with his ‘strength and strong character’.
Manchester United published a statement on Saturday night reading: ‘The procedure has gone very well but he needs a period of intensive care to optimise his recovery. His family request privacy in this matter.’
Wenger, speaking to the Mail on Sunday, said: ‘I am concerned and I’m thinking about him and his family. I trust his strength and his strong character will get him well very quickly.’
Current United players Jesse Lingard, club captain Michael Carrick, David de Gea, Ashley Young and Luke Shaw were among those leading the tributes.
‘Absolutely devastated to hear about Sir Alex being unwell in hospital. All my thoughts and prayer are with him and his family. Be strong boss,’ wrote Carrick.
Spanish goalkeeper De Gea, who recently attributed his success at Old Trafford to Ferguson’s management, tweeted the praying emoji.
Ashley Young, who Ferguson bought to United from Aston Villa in 2011 wrote: ‘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.’
Manchester City and players Benjamin Mendy and Vincent Kompany also sent their best wishes to their former footballing adversary.
Arsenal, Tottenham and Chelsea’s official channels also posted messages of support for the Scot, who won 13 Premier League titles and 38 trophies at Old Trafford overall.
Howard Wilkinson, the chairman of the League Managers Association, said he was ‘extremely sorry’ to hear the news of Ferguson’s illness.
He added in a statement: ‘I, together with the whole fraternity of football managers in the LMA, wish him well and hope for a speedy recovery from his surgery.
‘All our thoughts are with Lady Cathy and the rest of Sir Alex’s family at this difficult time.’
Manchester United players were made aware of Ferguson’s condition before the information was made public and the statement issued by the club.
Ferguson was present at Old Trafford last weekend as his former club took on Arsenal in what was Arsene Wenger’s final match against his old foe.