The world of football has united to wish Sir Alex Ferguson a speedy recovery after the legendary manager suffered a brain haemorrhage.

Players and fans from across the footballing spectrum were last night awaiting an update on his condition after the 76-year-old underwent emergency surgery on Saturday.

Messages of support and encouragement flooded social media in the wake of the announcement by his former club Manchester United, who said the life-saving operation had gone well.

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Footballing greats such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Pelé and David Beckham all posted messages of support online.

Ronaldo, who was signed by Sir Alex for Manchester as a teenager in 2003, posted a photograph of the two of them on Twitter and wrote: “My thoughts and prayers are with you, my dear friend. Be strong, Boss!”

While on Instagram, Beckham wrote: “Keep fighting Boss.. Sending prayers and love to Cathy and the whole family x”

Brazil legend Pelé also Tweeted: “I woke up to hear that Sir Alex Ferguson is in hospital. A @ManUtd man through and through. Get well soon, Sir Alex.”

World football governing body Fifa added that it joined “many across the world” to send its best wishes.

Sir Alex, who was born and grew up in Govan, is the most successful manager in the history of the British game.

After securing three Scottish titles, four Scottish FA cups and the European Cup Winners’ Cup at Aberdeen in the 1980s, he went on to Old Trafford where his trophy haul included 13 Premier League titles, two Champions League crowns, five FA Cups and four League Cups.

He famously won the treble of Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League in 1999 and was knighted the same year.

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Sir Alex has been married to wife Cathy since 1966. His son Darren manages Doncaster Rovers, but did not take charge of their League One match against Wigan on Saturday. Close friends Walter Smith and Archie Knox said they were “stunned” and “in shock” when they heard the news.

Smith, who was Sir Alex’s assistant manager for a spell at United, said: “There are some people you think are indestructible – and Alex is one of them. But everyone knows he’s a fighter – our thoughts are all with him, Cathy and the kids.”

Knox, who was at his side for Aberdeen’s European triumph, added: “All my prayers are with him and hopefully everything will be okay.”

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers also said the news had come as a “big shock” as he spoke after the Parkhead side’s match against Hearts on Sunday.

He added: “He is a real colossal manager who is a real inspiration to all of us young managers in his achievements and how he has always conducted himself. We are really hoping and praying he makes a good recovery and gets back to doing what he’s done all his life, which is inspire managers like myself.”

Manchester United captain Michael Carrick said he was “devastated” to learn the news, posting on Twitter: “All my thoughts and prayers are with him and his family. Be strong boss.”

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While former goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar, whose wife Annemarie van Kesteren suffered a brain haemorrhage in 2009 but later recovered, said he understood the situation he and his family are facing.

He tweeted: “Devastated about the news about Sir Alex and knowing all to well about the situation ourselves. Stay strong and hope together with everyone you recover. Edwin & Annemarie.”

Numerous Scottish clubs, including Rangers, Falkirk, Queen’s Park, Dunfermline and St Johnstone –clubs Sir Alex appeared for during his playing career, also tweeted their support and well wishes.

While English sides, including Liverpool and closest rivals Manchester City, also wished him a full recovery.

Politicians Nicola Sturgeon and Ruth Davidson also tweeted their support.