Ex Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson battling for his life after undergoing emergency surgery for brain haemorrhage.
The 76-year-old suffered a fall at his Cheshire home as a result, and was quickly taken via an ambulance to Macclesfield district hospital.
The Scotsman was subsequently transferred, with a police escort, to be treated at the Salford Royal where he underwent surgery and now remains in intensive care.
The family of the iconic manager are said to be very pleased with how the operation went, and are hopeful Ferguson can make a full recovery.
As in most cases with a subarachnoid haemorrhage the severity depends upon how quickly the illness was picked up and identified, with doctors often monitoring the situation following surgery to see the manner in which the patient responds.
A statement from Manchester United read: ‘Sir Alex Ferguson has undergone emergency surgery today for a brain haemorrhage.
‘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.’
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.
Ferguson took to the pitch to present Wenger with a commemorative trophy as a gift from the club, along with current boss Jose Mourinho.
Messages of well wishing soon began pouring in from the football world and wider afield, as Ferguson’s condition became public knowledge.
Arsenal manager Arsene 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.’
A series of the current Manchester United players instantly sent their best wishes to the former boss, while Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany urged for the Scotsman to pull through, writing: ‘Hang in there Sir Alex, thoughts are with the family and close ones.’
Club captain Michael Carrick echoed the sentiments with his own personal message: ‘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.’
Former goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel, who worked closely with Fergie and was part of the backbone of his Manchester United side, wrote online: ‘Devastated to hear about Sir Alex. Stay strong boss, thoughts are with you.’
The Scotsman is best known for the dynasty of success he created at Manchester United over the course of 27 trophy-laden years, the likes of which surpassed anything seen before in the English game.
Moulding a succession of outstanding teams, United won the Champions League twice, 13 Premier League titles, five FA Cups, four League Cups and the European Cup Winners’ Cup during his time there between 1986 and 2013.
Prior to that, Ferguson elevated unglamorous Aberdeen to challenge the established order of the Old Firm in his homeland. They won three Scottish league titles, four Scottish Cups, a Scottish League Cup and the European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1983.
WHAT IS A BRAIN HAEMORRHAGE?
A subarachnoid haemorrhage is an uncommon type of stroke caused by bleeding on the surface of the brain. It’s a very serious condition and can be fatal.
Subarachnoid haemorrhages account for around 1 in every 20 strokes in the UK.
There are usually no warning signs, but a subarachnoid haemorrhage sometimes happens during physical effort or straining, such as coughing, going to the toilet or lifting something heavy.
- A sudden agonising headache – which is often described as being similar to a sudden hit on the head, resulting in a blinding pain unlike anything experienced before
- A stiff neck
- Feeling and being sick
- Sensitivity to light (photophobia)
- Blurred or double vision
- Stroke-like symptoms – such as slurred speech and weakness on one side of the body
- Loss of consciousness or convulsions (uncontrollable shaking)
Treatment: A person with a suspected subarachnoid haemorrhage needs a CT scan in hospital to check for signs of bleeding around the brain.
If a diagnosis of subarachnoid haemorrhage is confirmed or strongly suspected, you’re likely to be transferred to a specialist neurosciences unit.
Medication will usually be given to help prevent short-term complications, and a procedure to repair the source of the bleeding may be carried out.
Medical information via the NHS official website
Following his stepping down from the United helm, which ended in a thrilling 5-5 draw against West Bromwich Albion at The Hawthorns in May 2013, Ferguson was soon immortalised at Old Trafford by having a stand named in his honour, while a statue of the Scotsman was soon unveiled outside the ground.
SIR ALEX – BRITAIN’S MOST SUCCESSFUL MANAGER
Scottish First Division (1): 1976-77.
Scottish Premier Division (3): 1979-80, 1983-84, 1984-85.
Scottish Cup (4): 1981-82, 1982-83, 1983-84, 1985-86.
Scottish League Cup (1): 1985-86.
European Cup-Winners’ Cup (1): 1982-83.
European Super Cup (1): 1983.
Premier League (13): 1992-93, 1993-94, 1995-96, 1996-97, 1998-99, 1999-2000, 2000-01, 2002-03, 2006-07, 2007-08, 2008-09, 2010-11, 2012-13.
FA Cup (5): 1989-90, 1993-94, 1995-96, 1998-99, 2003-04.
League Cup (4): 1991-92, 2005-06, 2008-09, 2009-10.
Charity/Community Shield (10): 1990 (shared), 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997, 2003, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011.
Champions League (2): 1998-99, 2007-08.
European Cup-Winners’ Cup (1): 1990-91.
European Super Cup (1): 1991.
Intercontinental Cup (1): 1999.
FIFA Club World Cup (1): 2008.
His son, Doncaster manager Darren Ferguson had to miss out on his side’s final fixture of the League One campaign on Saturday due to a ‘severe family issue.’
Rovers ended their season at home to League One leaders Wigan, though the manager had more pressing matters to attend to and rightly put the football on the back burner.
Ferguson, whose father is legendary Manchester United manager Sir Alex, informed bosses at Rovers he would be unable to take charge of the season finale.
A statement on the official club website read: ‘Darren asks for privacy, and will provide an update through the club during the week.’
Assistant Gavin Strachan, son of former Scotland boss Gordon, sat in the dugout instead to take over the managerial duties.