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Phil Jones urges ‘father-figure’ Sir Alex Ferguson to continue to fight

Manchester United defender Phil Jones has spoken out in support for former manager Sir Alex Ferguson after he had emergency surgery for a brain haemorrhage on Saturday. The 76-year-old retired as United’s manager after winning his 13th Premier League title in 2013 following almost 27 years at the helm of the Old Trafford club. It was such a shock to hear the news of United greatest manager since Sir Matt Busby as he gave us all the success we have become accustomed to over the years.

Over the past few days, many people from the world of football and beyond have wished Ferguson all the best for his recovery as we all wait for positive news surrounding the fate of the gaffer. United players past and present have also spoken of their shock, sadness and their belief that Ferguson has what it takes to make it through the biggest fight of his life. One of the players Ferguson brought to the club before his retirement, Phil Jones, has spoken to the BBC about how Ferguson was a father-figure to him, saying:

“He’s taken me under his wing like a father and it was shocking. It’s sad, but I know his character and I know that he has fight in him. He is such a legend in my eyes. He is the one who brought me to the club and gave me that opportunity to play for one of the biggest clubs in the world.

“He has got all his family and friends around him, the support from all the players and staff at Manchester United and football around the world. When something like that does happen it’s nice that the football world comes together and shows support and we are all rooting for him.”

Jones was brought to United from Blackburn Rovers as a 19-year-old in the summer of 2011 for £16.5 million. Jones has since made 190 appearances for the club, scoring five goals and winning one Premier League title (2012/13), one Emirates FA Cup (2015/16), two FA Community Shields (2011 and 2013), one EFL Cup (2016/17), and one UEFA Europa League. It may not be the greatest haul of trophies but it will be a haul that Jones will be proud of, despite being on the sidelines for the EFL Cup victory.

The amount of respect Jones has for Ferguson is shown in what he has said about his former gaffer. Ferguson took many players under his wing during his time as United’s manager, some made it, some did not. The fact that Jones has come out and said what he has said shows how much respect and love he has for Ferguson, the man who brought him to United and stated that he could become one of the greatest players to have ever played for the club.

“Jones, arguably the way he is looking, could be our best ever player. I think Jones may be one of the best players we have ever had, no matter where we play him.

“At 21 years of age, he is going to be a phenomenal player. I think he can play anywhere on the pitch. He has such a massive influence, with his instinct and reading of the game. He has a drive about him.”

On Saturday, Manchester United gave a statement about Sir Alex Ferguson as football supporters were dreading the worst possible news. The statement in itself was positive with a positive outlook, which can only be expected. Since then, there have been no updates on the former manager with everyone awaiting news as to whether he will recover. Time will tell. No news is good news, or so they say. The statement from the club read:

“Sir Alex Ferguson has undergone emergency surgery today for a brain haemorrhage. The procedure has gone very well but he needs a period of intensive care to optimise his recovery. His family request privacy in this matter. We will keep Sir Alex and his loved ones in our thoughts during this time, and we are united in our wish to see him make a comfortable, speedy recovery.”

There have been quite a few negative fans mocking what has happened with United’s, and other supporters hitting back at the crass, calculated comments put out on social media to gain notoriety and attention to the sad and pathetic people who mock things like this. The best thing to do with these no marks is to ignore them. They want attention, demand it even, giving not to them and scrolling on by their comments will hurt them so much more than attacking them will.

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