Sir Alex Ferguson ‘showing signs of recovery’ after emergency surgery

Sir Alex Ferguson is said to be making good progress following a brain haemorrhage. (AFP)
Updated 08 May 2018
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Sir Alex Ferguson ‘showing signs of recovery’ after emergency surgery

  • 76-year-old former United manager still in intensive care
  • 'Surgery went very well,' according to reports

LONDON: Former Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson was sitting up and talking to his family, reports said Tuesday, as he recovers from emergency surgery following a brain haemorrhage.
The 76-year-old, who suffered the haemorrhage on Saturday, remains in intensive care and there has been no official update on his condition from the Premier League club.
But Britain’s Mail Online said the Scot, who retired in 2013, was out of a coma and showing promising early signs of recovery.
“Surgery went very well and the 76-year-old’s response to treatment has given encouragement and cautious optimism to those close to him,” the report said.
“However, they recognize it will still be a slow road to full recovery as he continues to be assessed.”
“The prognosis is good and his closest friends in football are being kept abreast of any developments,” a source told The Sun newspaper.
One of the greatest managers in football history, Ferguson won 38 trophies in more than 26 years in charge of United, including 13 Premier League titles and the Champions League twice.
Support has flooded in from the football world and from those outside the game and United midfielder Michael Carrick said that the response shows the esteem in which his former boss is held.
“The whole football world is incredible but outside of that as well, from all corners of the globe and different walks of life, people have shown their support,” he told MUTV.
“That’s the effect he had on people. It was the effect he had on everyone. He means a lot to me, as he does to this club.
“We were all praying for him and thinking of him, Cathy and the family. It’s a tough time for everyone but I’m thinking positive and hoping he will pull through.”
Wales manager Ryan Giggs, who was part of all of Ferguson’s 13 Premier League title-winning teams after being given his debut as a 17-year-old in 1991, told the BBC: “I know the operation has been a success — but he is a fighter and that is what makes me think he will be able to make a recovery.
“Now is the time to pray and hope he can make a full recovery. He has been the biggest influence in my career, both on and off the pitch.”
Defender Phil Jones, one of a handful of players signed by Ferguson who is still at the club, added: “I know his character. I know he has that fight in him. Hopefully he’ll recover well.
“He has got all his family and friends around him, the support from all the players and staff at Man United and football around the world.”
United have thanked the many well-wishers, including Premier League managers Arsene Wenger, Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp, who have spoke of their admiration for Ferguson.
Wenger enjoyed a long, and at times fractious rivalry with Ferguson as they battled for Premier League supremacy in the first decade of the Frenchman’s long reign in charge of Arsenal.
However, they later became friends and with Wenger leaving Arsenal at the end of the season, Ferguson presented his old adversary with a memento on his final visit to United’s Old Trafford ground just last weekend.
“I was with him on the pitch last week. I went to see him in the box after the game and he looked in perfect shape,” said Wenger, after his final home game as Arsenal boss on Sunday.
“He told me he is doing a lot of exercise, and he looked very happy but that kind of accident can happen. We wish him all well and to recover very quickly. He is a strong man and an optimistic man.”


From near-death in Libyan desert to Saudi Arabia in 40 years: A history of the Dakar Rally

Updated 25 April 2019
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From near-death in Libyan desert to Saudi Arabia in 40 years: A history of the Dakar Rally

  • Race will start in Jeddah and make a stop in Riyadh before ending in Qiddiya
  • Take a look back at the most momentous moments

LONDON: A new and exciting chapter in the prestigious history of the Dakar Rally is ready to be written as the world’s biggest and most challenging rally confirmed it will debut in Saudi Arabia in January 2020.

1977: Inspiration
Biker Thierry Sabine gets lost in the Libyan desert while competing in the Abidjan-Nice Rally. After being rescued from the sands on the verge of death, he vows to share the scale and magic of the desert with the whole world.

1978: A dream come true
On 26 December 1978, a field of 170 adventurers starts its 10,000-kilometer quest through Algeria, Niger, Mali, the Upper Volta, and Senegal. A total of 74 vehicles make it to the finish on Place de l’Indépendance in Dakar, with Cyril Neveu at the helm.

1983: Ickx on all fronts
Celebrities and the best drivers and riders in the world heed the call of the Dakar. The combination is a successful one, with the six-time winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans Jacky Ickx and comedian Claude Brasseur taking the spoils in the fourth edition.

1986: Tragedy strikes
Thierry Sabine and Daniel Balavoine die in a helicopter crash alongside pilot François-Xavier Bagnoud, journalist Nathalie Odent and radio technician Jean-Paul Lefur. Gilbert Sabine, the father of the creator of the race, takes over as director.

1992: Africa from north to south
The Dakar takes a break from the capital of Senegal to pit the competitors against the challenge of a lifetime. The drivers and riders have to tackle a route of almost 12,500 kilometers through 11 countries to cross Africa from one side to the other and reach Cape Town in South Africa. Stéphane Peterhansel (motorbikes) and Hubert Auriol (cars) stand atop the podium at the end of the Odyssey.

1998: Peterhansel rolls a six
The biker with a blue bandana emerges victorious from a clash of titans with Orioli and Arcarons to become the undisputed master of the category in the 1990s. His sixth win catapults him past Cyril Neveu as the event record holder. “Peter” has since added seven car victories to his tally!

2000: At the foot of the pyramids
The Dakar marks the turn of the century next to one of the seven wonders of the world: the Great Pyramid of Giza. Reigning champions Richard Sainct (motorbikes) and Jean-Louis Schlesser (cars) both manage to defend their titles against this prestigious backdrop.

2001: Miss Dakar
No one suspects that this will be the last Paris–Dakar. In contrast, everyone sees Jutta Kleinschmidt, who had made her Dakar debut in 1988 on a motorbike, become the first woman to win the rally, this time racing at the wheel of a Mitsubishi 4×4. She remains the only female winner of the event to date.

2009: Rising from the ashes in Buenos Aires
The Dakar picks itself up and crosses the Atlantic to rise from the ashes. A new era dawns with 4 million spectators turning out in force to cheer on the drivers and riders in the majestic landscapes of Argentina and Chile.

2012: Pacific Challenge
After three years with a route starting and ending in Buenos Aires, the organizers break the mold with a finish on the Pacific coast of Lima, Peru.

2014: Dizzying heights
Bolivia becomes the 28th country to host the Dakar. The Altiplano and Salar de Uyuni introduce a new test for the competitors: extreme altitude, which takes a toll on both their bodies and their machines.

2020: Chapter 3
In the wake of its first foray into Paraguay in 2017, the Dakar adds the 30th country to its list. In Saudi Arabia, the largest country on the Arabian Peninsula, the competitors will face challenges such as the “Empty Quarter,” a pristine expanse that has never been explored fully before.