Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick has spoken of his devastation at learning of Sir Alex Ferguson’s emergency brain operation.
The 76-year-old former Manchester United manager remains in intensive care in a Salford hospital after undergoing surgery on a brain haemorrhage on Saturday.
Carrick, who played under Ferguson for seven years, admits it took a while for him to get over the shock of the news.
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 xx— Michael Carrick (@carras16) May 5, 2018
“I was devastated. I couldn’t quite believe it. It didn’t really sink in. I was just devastated,” the midfielder told MUTV.
“It was a tough night on Saturday and we were waiting for some positive news.
“We were all praying for him and thinking of him, Cathy and the family. It’s a tough time for everyone but I’m thinking positive and hoping he will pull through.
“The whole world showed their support and I was just concerned about him, as an ex-manager and a friend – as he was to everyone.
“It was the effect he had on everyone. He means a lot to me, as he does to this club.”
Ryan Giggs won 13 titles under Sir Alex Ferguson (Martin Rickett/PA)
Ryan Giggs, who played a part in all of the Scot’s 13 Premier League title victories after being given a debut as a 17-year-old in 1991, and Phil Jones both believe Ferguson’s fighting spirit will help him recover.
“Now is the time to pray and hope he can make a full recovery,” Giggs told BBC Wales.
“He has been the biggest influence in my career, both on and off the pitch.
“I know the operation has been a success – but he is a fighter and that is what makes me think that he will be able to make a recovery.”
Manchester United would like to thank the wider football world for the messages of support following the news that Sir Alex Ferguson underwent emergency surgery on Saturday evening.— Manchester United (@ManUtd) May 6, 2018
Current United defender Jones, one of a handful of players currently at United who were signed by Ferguson, agreed, saying: “I know his character. I know he has that fight in him. Hopefully he’ll recover well.
“He is such a legend in my eyes. He is the one who brought me to the club and gave me that opportunity to play for one of the biggest clubs in the world.
“He’s taken me under his wing like a father and it was shocking.”
Jones’ team-mate Juan Mata dedicated his weekly blog post to Ferguson.
“This blog’s entry is going to be particularly short, if you don’t mind,” wrote Mata, signed by Ferguson’s replacement David Moyes.
“This Saturday, all of us were overwhelmed by the news about Sir Alex Ferguson’s health condition. This circumstance has had a huge impact on Manchester United, as you can imagine.
“All of us are united right now, wishing Sir Alex a speedy recovery. He has been a unique and fundamental figure in the football world over the last few decades.
“I’ve never been coached by him, unfortunately, yet I know well his incomparable legacy on this club, that winning mentality and fighting gen(e) that we must honour in the last three games of the season, especially in the FA Cup final.
“To achieve that, we are going to work hard while we eagerly await good news about Sir Alex’s recovery.”