Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson should have been celebrating last night after seeing his side beat Arsenal 3-1 (4-1 on aggregate) in the Semi Final, 2nd leg of the European Cup to reach the Final for the second year in succession.

But his celebrations were marred after he was told, before the match started, that his two grandchildren and their mother are in hospital following a car crash in Macclesfield, Cheshire.

He decided, controversially, to attend the game.

Nadine Ferguson, her son Charlie and daughter Grace, six, had to be cut free from their Vauxhall Corsa after colliding with another car whilst taking the children to school.

The crash left the Manchester United boss uncertain whether to attend the match.

Nadine is married to Sir Alex's son Darren, who is the manager of Peterborough United.

Grace has since been released from hospital but Charlie and Nadine are said to be "seriously ill."

Scotsman Sir Alex, 67, who was knighted by the Queen after Manchester United's 1999 European Cup win, is English football's longest serving manager at the present time, having been manager of Manchester United since 1986.

He is often viewed as a father figure to some players and younger managers, and several former United players who played under Ferguson are now managers themselves, including Steve Bruce (Wigan Athletic), Mark Hughes (Manchester City) and Roy Keane (Ipswich Town).

He is also the most successful manager in English football history, having guided Manchester United to ten championships, five FA Cups, three League Cups, eight Community Shields, two European Cups, one Cup Winners' Cup, one Super Cup, one Intercontinental Cup and one Club World Cup and with surely more trophies to come.

Darren is also looking pretty useful as a manger. Peterborough United have been promoted to the Championship (the second tier of English football) from League One with a 1-0 win away at Colchester United.

Sir Alex Ferguson visits seriously ill grandson in hospital after head-on car crash

Boy, 10, injured head on dashboard sitting on front seat

By Ryan Kisiel (external - login to view)
06th May 2009
Daily Mail

Sir Alex Ferguson today visited his daughter-in-law and grandson who both remain seriously ill in hospital following a head-on car crash.

Nadine Ferguson, her son Charlie and daughter Grace, six, had to be cut free from their Vauxhall Corsa after the school-run collision in Cheshire.

Sir Alex visited 10-year-old Charlie with son Darren at Alder Hey Children's Hospital in Liverpool this afternoon.

Grace suffered minor injuries and is expected to be released from Leighton Hospital in Crewe.

The crash left the distraught Manchester United boss uncertain whether to attend his team's crucial semi-final Champion's League match against Arsenal last night.

Road crash: Sir Alex Ferguson and son Darren, who is manager of Peterborough United, leave Alder Hey Children's Hospital in Liverpool this afternoon after visiting Darren's step son Charlie

The 30-year-old ex-wife of the Manchester United boss's son Darren suffered a shattered pelvis and broken leg.

Paramedics treated her at the scene and took her to hospital when her condition worsened.

Charlie was sitting in the front passenger seat and smashed his forehead against the dashboard. It is believed he was not sitting on a booster seat.

His sister, sitting behind him, was also not thought to be on a booster seat and suffered cuts and bruises.

One witness said: 'Nadine kept saying that she was in a lot of pain and was really upset to be separated from her children.

'Her boy had a really nasty cut on his forehead and was screaming as the ambulance man was trying to treat him. It looked like a real mess as the cars both had to be cut by firefighters.'

Witnesses described a shocked Nadine saying repeatedly: 'My poor babies.'

A police spokeswoman said today: 'The boy has undergone surgery and he remains in a serious but stable condition.

'The six-year-old girl suffered minor injuries and stayed at Leighton Hospital overnight.'

Darren Ferguson today said his daughter was 'fine' and the operation on his stepson had been a success.

'I can confirm that my ex-wife Nadine, my son Charlie and my daughter Grace were involved in a car accident on Tuesday morning,' he said in a statement.

'Grace, thankfully, is fine. Charlie is currently in the intensive care unit. He has undergone an operation, which was a success.

'Nadine, who was also injured in the accident, is still in hospital from her injuries.'

Danger spot:The turning on Trap Street, Lower Withington where the car crash took place

Darren added: 'This is difficult time for myself and my family and we would ask for privacy for both ourselves and the hospital at this moment in time.'

Mrs Ferguson's black Vauxhall Corsa was in collision with a Ford Fiesta in Trap Street, Lower Withington, Macclesfield, at around 8.25am yesterday.

The Fiesta driver, a 17-year-old boy, was taken to hospital with leg injuries and was in a stable condition.

Local resident Lynda Syers told The Sun: The car was surrounded by paramedics and firemen. I could see the driver in the passenger seat sobbing her eyes out.

'She was cradling her young daughter and trying to comfort her, but they were both completely distraught.'

A spokeswoman for Cheshire Fire Service said two crews attended the scene.

She said: 'On arrival, the crews found two saloon cars were involved in a collision and the occupants of both vehicles were trapped inside.

'An adult and two children were removed from the Corsa and a man was removed from the Fiesta.

'All those involved were then taken by ambulance to hospital.'

Sir Alex was with his Manchester United team in London yesterday, overseeing their 3-1 Champions League semi-final victory over Arsenal.

The accident took place in the Cheshire village of Lower Withington, near the family's home.

Darren Ferguson, the son of Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson, shopping in Manchester with his wife Nadine

A Cheshire Police spokesman said last night they were investigating the collision and were appealing for witnesses before interviewing both drivers.

The other driver was also being treated in Macclesfield Hospital.

A spokeswoman for Manchester United said: 'This is a private matter for Sir Alex and his family.'

It is the driver's responsibility for all children under 12 or under 135cm in height to use a child seat so that the safety belt works properly in an accident.

Darren, 37, separated from Nadine in 2007 after four years of marriage. He was arrested in January last year and fined £1,500 after he admitted assaulting her.

He pleaded guilty to common assault but lawyers said his guilty plea was on a 'limited basis' and he had not kicked Nadine to the floor outside Sir Alex's home.

They insisted he had not kicked Nadine but that she had run into his raised leg. As a result she fell to the ground and suffered pain in her stomach, they said.

The incident, in October 2007, started at Nadine's home with a disagreement about childcare. Four hours later, the row flared again at Sir Alex's house.

He remarried last week, tying the knot in Lincolnshire with freelance writer Nicola Noblet, 33. It is his third marriage.

The car crash comes just days after the team he manages, Peterborough United, were promoted to the Championship from League One with a 1-0 win away at Colchester United.

As a player, Sir Alex brought Darren through the youth ranks at Manchester United, giving him his first team debut in 1990.

Darren played in the side's first 15 games of the new Premier League in 1992-93 but did not feature regularly enough to qualify for a title winner's medal at the end of the season.

Last edited by Blackleaf; May 6th, 2009 at 12:45 PM..