There are a great many emotions wrapped up in the sport of football. Every season brings with it varying degrees of feels both on and off the field. It’s wins and loses. It’s players out of form and managers faltering. It’s stats and records. It’s goalscorers. It’s the devastation and the glory. And though we derive such a connection to sports because of these constant shifts in emotion there’s a greater element in the shared experience that enriches us. It’s the human connection.
Today we learned that former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson was recovering from emergency surgery after a brain haemorrhage. The surgery is said to have been a success but that Ferguson is in intensive care.
“The thoughts of everyone at Liverpool Football Club are with Sir Alex Ferguson and his family following the news that the former Manchester United manager is ill in hospital.
”A great rival but also a great friend who supported this club during its most difficult time, it is hoped that Sir Alex will make a full recovery.
”In the meantime, the club will offer its full support to Manchester United and also his family.”
Liverpool legend Kenny Dalglish knows Ferguson well, having regularly met up with Sir Alex following any Liverpool v United match for a friendly chat. Again the human connection wins out over hostility. The King even helped ease some animosity in Liverpool supporters towards Ferguson when several years ago he spoke of his fellow Scotsman’s comfort and assistance after Hillsborough.
“When the Hillsborough disaster happened back in 1989, Sir Alex Ferguson was straight on the phone to offer his help in any way he could,” said Kenny.
“People out there have different opinions about him. Some love him, some hate him, but when something terrible happens, like Hillsborough, Alex is one of the first asking what he can do.
”So although there is an intense rivalry between Manchester United and Liverpool, it would never prevent Alex from offering his assistance, which is exactly what he did back then.”
Ferguson was also in attendance at Anfield for the unveiling of the Kenny Dalglish Stand. The rivalry between Liverpool and Manchester United may run mean and deep in some corners of fandom, but it’s encouraging to know that at the top levels the clubs are supporting one another and representing the region well.