Michael Carrick used his farewell speech at Old Trafford to underline Manchester United’s ongoing support for Sir Alex Ferguson’s recovery.
The club’s greatest ever manager continues to receive hospital treatment following a brain haemorrhage last weekend but is out of intensive care after responding well to surgery.
Taking to the microphone after ending his 12-year playing career with the Red Devils with a 1-0 win against Watford, Carrick was quick to spare a thought for the man who brought him to the club in 2006.
“It has been a tough week for everyone. He is a major part of the family, Sir Alex, and he’s had a tough week this week,” said the 36-year-old.
“I just want to say all our thoughts and prayers go to Sir Alex for his recovery.”
Ferguson was also on boss Jose Mourinho’s mind as he considered Carrick’s contribution to United over the course of 464 appearances and five title-winning campaigns.
“I can call Sir Alex the intelligent one to buy him and I can call him the happy one to have him for so many years of his career as a phenomenal player,” said the Portuguese.
Mourinho had also written in his programme notes: “I must start by saying that everybody involved with Manchester United is sending their best wishes to Sir Alex Ferguson and we are all very, very positive about his ongoing recovery.”
A message on the front cover of Sunday’s match programme read: “Sir Alex Ferguson is in all our thoughts, and as another home season comes to an end, the aim is to put in a display he’ll be proud of in our 1,000th Premier League game.”
Former United midfielder Paddy Crerand also paid tribute to his fellow Glaswegian in his column.
Crerand wrote: “Sir Alex has always been a fighter, so if anyone’s going to beat an illness, it’s him, without question. I know you fans will all be singing his name this afternoon.”