Ferguson says feared losing memory, speech after brain haemorrhage


FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Premier League - Manchester United v Crystal Palace - Old Trafford, Manchester, Britain - September 19, 2020 Sir Alex Ferguson wearing a protective face mask in the stands during the match Pool via REUTERS/Richard Heathcote

(Reuters) - Former Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson said he feared losing his memory and voice after suffering a brain haemorrhage in 2018.

The 79-year-old, widely regarded as one of the greatest managers of all time, needed emergency surgery and spent several days in intensive care at Salford Royal Hospital in greater Manchester.

"One of the first things I said the day after the operation when my family came to see me was (about) my memory," Ferguson told questioners at Glasgow film festival on Saturday after the premiere of a documentary about the Scotsman.

"I've survived with having a great memory all my life. The next week... I lost my voice. I couldn't get a word out and it was absolutely terrifying.

"Everything was going through my mind – is my memory going to be back? Am I ever going to speak again?

Ferguson said he worked with a speech therapist and his voice returned after 10 days.

"The speech therapist came and told me to write down all the members of my family, of my football team... She asked me questions about animals, fish, birds. Eventually after 10 days my voice came back," he said.

"I realised, having gone through all that, my memory was fine."

Ferguson was United manager from 1986 to 2013, winning the Champions League twice, the Premier League 13 times and five FA Cups.

He was knighted in 1999, the year United won the treble of Champions League, Premier League and FA Cup.

(Reporting by Arvind Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by William Mallard)

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