Ryan Giggs has admitted to his shock at learning that legendary former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson had suffered a brain haemorrhage, with the Scot having had “the biggest influence” on his career.
A man who helped the Red Devils to 13 Premier League titles during an iconic reign at Old Trafford is currently recovering from surgery.
The football world has come out in support of the 76-year-old, with old rivals Jose Mourinho and Arsene Wenger and various figures from United’s past and present among those to offer words of high praise.
Giggs, who spent his entire career working under Ferguson, has now added his voice to those hoping to receive a positive update on a coach whose health scare has stunned the sporting community.
The Wales boss told BBC Sport: “He’s had a huge impact on my career.
“I’ve known him since I was 13. I played for him until I was 40, so we know each other extremely well. Not just on the pitch but off it as well.
“He’s been a brilliant person to speak to if you ever have any problems or any difficulties, he always said his office was open for anything. He’s been the biggest influence on my career by far.
“I was with him two weeks earlier, I was sat next to him at a dinner, and he was fine. I was at the game when he presented Arsene Wenger with his little memento as well.
“It was a shock, but I think now it’s all about positive thinking.
“I understand that the operation has gone well and even though he’s still in critical condition, we all hope that he makes a full recovery. My wishes and prayers go to him and his family and Cathy his wife.
“It’s not a nice time now, you’re just waiting and hoping that he does recover.”
Ferguson stepped down at United after guiding them to Premier League title glory in 2013.
Along with his 13 top-flight crowns, he also claimed five FA Cups, four League Cups, two Champions League triumphs and the Club World Cup during his time at Old Trafford.