Preston boss Alex Neil has wished fellow Scot Sir Alex Ferguson a speedy recovery after the former Manchester United manager underwent emergency surgery following a brain haemorrhage.
Sir Alex was rushed into hospital over the weekend and is recovering in intensive care.
He is expected to stay in hospital for some time.
Neil said the news of Sir Alex’s collapse had come as a huge shock.
When he became boss at Norwich City in January 2015, Neil revealed Sir Alex had contacted him to wish him luck.
“The news came as a shock to me, like it did to everyone else,” said Neil.
“Sir Alex Ferguson is like a grandfather to the game.
“If anyone wants advice, a word or a pick-me-up, they will go to Air Alex.
“Everyone will be wishing him a speedy recovery.
“I spoke to him when I joined Norwich.
“Being a fellow Scot, I think he was trying to take me under his wing a bit.
“I always appreciated that a guy of that standing in the game took the time to have a chat with me.”
Sir Alex had the operation in Salford Royal Hospital. The footballing world has rallied round the 76-year-old who stepped down as United boss in 2013 after 26 years.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said: “He’s a strong man and an optimistic man.
“We wish him all the best and that he recovers quickly.
“I was on the pitch with him last week, he was very happy but anything can happen.
“I went to see him in the box after the game on Sunday.
“He looked in perfect shape. He told me he’s doing a lot of exercise, he looked very happy.”
Chelsea boss Antonie Conte said: “I have had the possibility to know him and his wife and to understand that this is a special person.
“He’s not a normal person, he’s a manager who won many titles in his career. I think I appreciated a lot the man.
“We hope to see him quickly and we send best wishes to recover very soon.”
Former England skipper, PNE loanee and United midfielder David Beckham sent a message on social media.
Beckham wrote: “Keep fighting boss...sending prayers and love to Cathy and the whole family.”
Cristiano Ronaldo, who Ferguson signed for United as a teenager, tweeted: “My thoughts and prayers are with you, my dear friend. Be strong, Boss!”