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'I was crying because I felt helpless' | Ferguson on brain haemorrhage


Sir Alex Ferguson has opened up on his illness in 2018 during which he says he feared he'd never speak again.

The Manchester United legend suffered a brain haemorrhage at his home in May of that year.

The experience is now the subject of a new film, 'Sir Alex Ferguson: Never Give In', which was premiered last night at a special screening by the Glasgow Film Festival.

The film features input from Ferguson himself as well as family members. It opens with audio from the 999 call made by his son, Jason.

It finishes with Ferguson's return to Old Trafford that September.

Joshi George, the neurosurgeon who treated Ferguson, said there was "an 80% chance" he wouldn't survive.

Now 79, and in good health, the Scot speaks of the time and what he remembers.

"There were five brain haemorrhages that day," Ferguson says in the film. "Three died. Two survived. You know you are lucky.

"It was a beautiful day, I remember that. I wondered how many sunny days I would ever see again. I found that difficult."

Even after an initial recovery, Ferguson suffered a set back during his rehabilitation when he lost his voice.

After working with a speech therapist, it returned after ten days.

"I was trying to force it out but I couldn't get it out," he said. "One of the doctors came in and I was crying because I felt helpless."

"I would have hated to lose my memory. It would have been a terrible burden on my family, if I was sitting in the house not knowing who I am.

"Two doctors came in and said, 'write your family's names, your friends' names, your football teams' names, your players' names'.

"I just kept writing, writing and writing."

When he returned home, Ferguson said there was a lot of emotion and "all the things were bottled up inside me".

"It was all opening up and spilling it all out," he said. "What you realise is, 'what happens when you die?'

"I don't remember anything. When I collapsed that Saturday morning, I have no idea what went on.

"People say I was sat up talking in Macclesfield Hospital before I went to Salford but I don't remember a thing.

"I am not sure, when the moment comes and you do die, whether it is the best way to go.

"The moments when you are on your own, there is that fear and loneliness that creeps into your mind.

"You don't want to die. That is where I was at. These things did flash through my mind quite a lot."



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