Sir Alex Ferguson returns to Old Trafford to watch Manchester United vs. Wolves
MANCHESTER, England -- Sir Alex Ferguson made an emotional return to Old Trafford to watch Manchester United draw 1-1 against Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday.
Ferguson, who was admitted to the Salford Royal Hospital in May for emergency surgery for a brain hemorrhage, was greeted by applause and cheers from the crowd as he attended his first match since the operation.
The 76-year-old former United manager released a statement in July to thank staff at Macclesfield, Salford Royal and Alexandra hospitals who treated him, and he revealed he hoped to be back at Old Trafford this season.
And on Saturday, United announced that the Scot would be back in the directors' box to watch Jose Mourinho's team take on Premier League new boys Wolves.
"It's really good [to be back]," he told MUTV. "It's obviously been a long journey, but I'm making steps forward, doing what my son tells me and what the doctors tell me, so, yeah, it's really good.
"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, and I just hope we get a win today."
Of doing interviews, Ferguson said: "I don't miss this. This is the pressure, having these press guys with stupid questions. No, it's great to go back to the stadium, and it's going to be quite emotional for me when the game starts, things like that. It had to happen sometime, and I've been looking forward to it. It was important getting the right time and the right rest before coming to a game.
"It's bound to be emotional. Particularly when I take my seat in the box. That will be something, you know. I'll be glad when it gets over and the game starts and I can enjoy it."
Ferguson thanked well-wishers for their kind words as he recovered and revealed he had invited some of the doctors who looked after him to the game as well.
"It's unbelievable. There were thousands of cards, and they kept arriving at Salford Royal Hospital," he said. "I'd left by that time, but they kept coming and kept coming. The number of emails, texts and personal cards to the house, it was just amazing. It really was.
"I'm overcome by it and overwhelmed by it. I think, if you remember, I did the message [through MUTV] to thank the people who had taken the time to send me messages. It was really important to do that. Some of the doctors are here [as special guests] who did the operation, and I thought it was the right thing to do. It's great to be back!"
Meanwhile, Mourinho thanked the club's supporters for their response to the defeat to Tottenham and credited them with the team's upturn in form.
United and Mourinho were applauded off the pitch following the 3-0 defeat to Tottenham at Old Trafford and have since bounced back with wins over Burnley, Watford and Young Boys.
"Thank you Old Trafford for what you gave us after Tottenham," Mourinho wrote in his programme notes ahead of the Premier League clash with Wolves, their first home game since defeat to Spurs.
"The credit of our positive spirit in the last three victories is yours."
United face Wolves with the chance to win four consecutive games for the first time since January and close the gap at the top with early leaders Liverpool and Chelsea.
"It has been almost four weeks since we last played at Old Trafford, but I cannot forget how amazing the atmosphere was in our last home game, even though it was a defeat against Tottenham," Mourinho added.
"It was not normal to see the reaction of our supporters gave despite losing the game, but I think there was a recognition that the team had given everything.
"The boys had played well and were unfortunate. I think that was recognised, and in turn the players recognised the support they were given."