Sir Alex Ferguson received a huge standing ovation at Old Trafford on Saturday as the former Manchester United manager returned to the stadium for the first time since undergoing emergency brain surgery in May.
Ferguson was described by the stadium announcer as “truly one of our own” and “without question one of the greatest figures in the club’s history” as he made his way to his seat in the directors’ box just before United’s Premier League clash with Wolves kicked off.
And the fans in attendance welcomed him with a deafening roar and an extended round of applause, while the 76-year-old smiled widely, waved, clapped his hands and pumped both fists.
United had earlier posted a picture of Ferguson arriving at the ground on their official Twitter account, with a caption reading: “Welcome back to Old Trafford, Sir Alex.”
Ferguson had said in a video message released by the club in July, in which he also thanked medical staff who had cared for him, that he intended to be back at Old Trafford to watch United in the coming season.
And he told MUTV on Saturday ahead of the match: “I’m really good.
“Obviously it’s been a long journey and I’m gradually making steps forward, doing what my son tells me and what the doctors tell me, so, yeah, I’m really good.
“I’m a bit nervous, to be honest with you, maybe a bit tense really because I think my 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.
“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 some time and I’ve been looking forward to it. The important thing was 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.”