‘I will be back to watch the team,’ says Alex Ferguson after brain surgery

(CNN) — Less than three months after undergoing brain surgery, former Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson says he will be back at Old Trafford to watch a match next season.

Manchester United released a video featuring Ferguson on Thursday, the first time the public had heard from the 13-time Premier League winner since his brain haemorrhage was announced on May 5.

Sitting upright in a garden chair while donning a crisp blue shirt, Ferguson began by thanking his medical team and the fans for their support.

“Just a quick message, first of all, to thank the medical staff at Macclesfield, Salford Royal and Alexandra Hospitals. Believe me, without those people, who gave me such great care, I would not be sitting here today,” he said in the video posted on the team’s Twitter account, introduced as a “special message.”

“Thank you from me and my family, thank you very much. It has made me feel so humble, as have all the messages from all over the world, wishing me the best.

“The good wishes do resonate very strongly with me so thank you for that support you have given me.”

Shock to football world

After stepping down as United’s manager five years ago, Ferguson was a regular at Old Trafford watching the team play and he said he was looking forward to attending games again.

“I will be back later in the season to watch the team,” he added in the video message. “In the meantime, all the best to (current manager) Jose (Mourinho) and the players.”

The Glasgow-born Ferguson retired in 2013 as the most successful manager in the history of the English Premier League.

In nearly 27 years in charge of United, he won more than 30 trophies — including those 13 league titles, two Champions League trophies and five FA Cups.

The announcement of his illness came as a shock to the football world. Just days before he presented a trophy to former rival manager Arsene Wenger of Arsenal in front of a packed Old Trafford crowd.

The Scot’s hospitalization was met with a deluge of well wishes on social media, with his former star players Cristiano Ronaldo and David Beckham among those wishing their former boss a quick recovery.

Mourinho later said the club was “very positive” that Ferguson would recover.

Ferguson was voted manager of the season 11 times as United boss and before moving to United in 1986 he had also led Aberdeen to three Scottish titles, four Scottish cups, one League Cup and one European Cup Winners’ Cup.

The Premier League kicks off on August 10, with United hosting Leicester City in the new season’s opening fixture.

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