Belfast Telegraph

Sir Alex like a father to me, says Carroll in warm tribute

By Cate McCurry

Former Northern Ireland goalkeeper Roy Carroll has sent his best wishes to Sir Alex Ferguson as he continues to recover from a brain haemorrhage.

The legendary Manchester United boss was rushed to hospital after collapsing at his home on Saturday.

He underwent emergency surgery at Salford Royal Hospital.

Yesterday the 76-year-old was reported to be sitting up in bed speaking to friends and family.

Well-wishes have flooded in from the football world.

Linfield goalkeeper Carroll, who played under Sir Alex for four years after being signed from Wigan Athletic, has spoken of his concern.

The Co Fermanagh man described Sir Alex as a "calm person, who was like a father to me".

Speaking to the Fermanagh Herald, Carroll said: "He looked after the players really well and we all looked up to him.

"If you needed to talk then his door was always open.

"I want to send my love and best wishes to his family at this difficult time.

"But I know Sir Alex is a very strong person and he will fight through it.

"He is in the right place and hopefully he will get well quickly."

He fondly described his first meeting with Sir Alex in his office when they talked for an hour-and-a-half, most of which was about family.

"That was the type of him," Carroll added.

"I respect him for asking me to stay on for another four years (before my move to West Ham United), but (he said) I might not have much opportunity of playing.

"When I explained I'd rather play (at another club), he shook my hand and wished me well.

"We're all thinking of him and his family at this time."

Yesterday current Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho said the club was "confident" and "positive" that Sir Alex will make a full recovery.

Speaking ahead of tonight's game at West Ham, he said: "I can only think that if there is any relation it is a positive relation."

Asked if the situation had left a cloud over the club, he added: "We are positive - very, very positive. We are confident.

"It's private. His family ask for privacy and that's what I'm going to respect."

It was reported Sir Alex's first words after coming round from surgery were: "How did Doncaster get on?" A reference to the club his son Darren manages.

Belfast Telegraph

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