Ferguson recovering in hospital following brain surgery

Manchester United legend Sir Alex Ferguson undergoes emergency brain surgery

"The procedure has gone very well but he needs a period of intensive care to optimise his recovery".

He writes the warm message with a picture of himself and Sir Alex Ferguson clicked together during his time at Manchester United. "His family request privacy in this matter".

For those who do survive, full recovery can take months and sometimes rehabilitation is needed to recover speech and physical abilities. "Be strong, Boss!" he said.

"It is tragic. I am going to find out how he is as soon as I possibly can", said Everton manager Sam Allardyce, a longstanding friend of Mr Ferguson's, after his side's 1-1 Premier League draw at home to Southampton. Thoughts with all the family at this sad time.

Aberdeen Football club added: "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".

In 2003, Sir Alex was admitted to hospital for a heart irregularity and underwent cardioversion electric shock treatment at the Alexandra Hospital in Cheadle, near Manchester. "Edwin & Annemarie", said the couple's Twitter post.

Former Manchester United and Denmark goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel tweeted: "Please".

Sir Alex retired in 2013 as one of the most successful football managers of all time when he made the bombshell announcement he was leaving after 26 years at the helm of the Old Trafford club.

Midfielder Michael Carrick said he was "absolutely devastated", adding, "All my thoughts and prayers are with him and his family".

Born into a family of shipyard workers in the Govan area of Glasgow, Sir Alex has been a well-known Labour supporter and has been named in the past as one of the party's biggest donors.

Scotland's First Minister and SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon joined Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson in tweeting their best wishes for Sir Alex.

Ferguson 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.

Ferguson had planned to retire at the end of the 2001/02 campaign but changed his mind after speaking to his wife Cathy and their family.

The Scot won a staggering 49 trophies in management, including 13 Premier League titles and two Champions Leagues.

He famously won the treble in 1999 after securing the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League in one season.

After transforming St Mirren, Ferguson took over the hot-seat at Aberdeen and guided them to the European Cup Winners' Cup in 1983, beating Real Madrid in the final.

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