The great and good of the footballing world have shared their well-wishes for Sir Alex Ferguson after he underwent emergency surgery for a brain haemorrhage.
But so too have football fans from across the globe, who have united in a show of support for a man known simply as “the boss”.
Some of Manchester United’s fiercest supporters – and, putting allegiances aside, some of their fiercest rivals – have shared touching messages of a man they idolise.
“Inspiration”, “legend” and “role model” are some of the words used to describe the 76-year-old in an outpouring of emotion on social media.
One United fan, @MUnitedGirl, wrote on Twitter: “Sir Alex Ferguson is respected not just by United but by almost all in the football world and beyond.
“He is the ultimate gentleman and person. He has influenced so many lives, myself included.
“With the fighting spirit this man has, he can overcome anything! I love you Boss”.
Others also pointed to Sir Alex’s infamous ability to put up a good fight as they voiced their hopes he would pull through.
Twitter user @TheRainbowStand said: “Nobody greater at comebacks/recovering. Here’s hoping and praying you make a full recovery/comeback from this one too.
“Get well soon Sir Alex Ferguson.
“There’s more to football than rivalry.”
And Liverpool supporter @Corballyred showed that football fans could indeed put rivalries aside, tweeting: “I know Utd are our main rivals but wishing Alex Ferguson a speedy recovery, as much as I hated him for what he achieved at Utd I’ve nothing but respect for his qualities as a manager, one of the games best managers ever.”
One social media user, @neilmullen07, shared a personal story of meeting the fiery Scot at the age of 10.
“When i was 10 dad took us to Old Trafford to pick up tickets,” he wrote. “Met Alex Ferguson, our new boss at the time, at K stand by his Jaguar. He spent 25 minutes talking to dad as i stood with my mouth wide open. & the next 25 years giving me the best days of my life. Get well soon gaffer”.
To another, Sir Alex is “like an extended part of the family, like another grandfather even”.
@dhruv123tupac wrote: “He’s brought me some of the happiest moments of my life.
“Keeping aside the rivalries and seeing at the messages for speedy recoveries is massive.”
And summing it all up in one well-worded tweet, another fan wrote: “Just woke up and checking for updates on Sir Alex Ferguson’s condition.
“No updates, just an endless list of tweets from the 4 corners of the world showing support and love.
“Makes you realize how one man can inspire millions across the globe.
“He’ll pull through.”