LONDON: Sir Alex Ferguson was in intensive care overnight after undergoing emergency surgery following a brain haemorrhage.

Concern was prompted about the 76-year-old’s health after Doncaster manager Darren Ferguson, Sir Alex’s son, did not attend his side’s final match of the season against Wigan because of what was reported as a “severe family issue”.

Manchester United announced the news in a brief statement on Saturday evening, adding: “The procedure has gone very well but he needs a period of intensive care to aid his recovery. His family request privacy in this matter. Everyone at Manchester United sends our very best wishes.”

Ferguson had a prolific career as a striker in Scotland but it was when he entered management that his true talent in football became clear.

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.

Ron Atkinson’s sacking led to Ferguson taking over at Old Trafford in November 1986. Famously, success did not come immediately, and football folklore has it that Ferguson was nearly shown the door himself before an FA Cup triumph in 1990 paved the way for an unprecedented two decades of glory.

The highlight was United’s treble of Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup in 1999, and he went on to achieve more European glory in 2008 as well as 13 league titles.

Well wishes immediately flooded in for the most successful manager in the history of the British game, who 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.

The Football Association, Premier League, FIFA, UEFA and individual clubs from Britain and around the world all tweeted their best wishes along with a host of current and former United players. The Scot retired in May 2013 after winning 38 trophies during 26 and a half years as manager.