Ferguson Given Standing Ovation on Old Trafford Return

Alex Ferguson

Former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson was given a standing ovation as he returned to Old Trafford for the first time since having emergency brain surgery in May.

Ferguson, 76, attended United’s match against Wolves and was warmly applauded as he took his seat in the directors box shortly before kick-off.

“It’s obviously been a long journey,” he said before yesterday’s game. “I’m making steps forward, doing what the doctors tell me, it’s really good.”

There was also applause after 27 minutes, in recognition of the 27 years the Scot was in charge of the club.

Ferguson was described as “truly one of our own” and “without question one of the greatest figures in the club’s history” by the stadium announcer as he made his way to his seat. He applauded and pumped both fists to respond to the crowd’s ovation.

Ferguson had emergency surgery for a brain haemorrhage on May 5 and was in intensive care for several days at Salford Royal Hospital. His last public appearance at Old Trafford was on April 29, when he presented former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger with a commemorative trophy.

Speaking on MUTV before the match, Scot Ferguson said: “I’m a bit nervous, to be honest with you, maybe a bit tense really because the last game was Arsenal back in April.

“It was a long time but it’s great to be back. It’s great to go back to the stadium and it’s going to be quite emotional for me when the game starts.

“It had to happen some time and I’ve been looking forward to it. It was important getting the right time and the right rest before coming to a game.”