Manchester United statement three days ago: “Sir Alex Ferguson has undergone emergency surgery today for a brain haemorrhage. The procedure has gone very well but he needs a period of intensive care to optimise his recovery. His family request privacy in this matter.” The Daily Mail today: “Sir Alex is awake and talking.” Can you see what happened, there?

I am loathe to even write about Sir Alex given what has happened to him, so I’ll leave at this. The great man has had a brain haemorrhage. We all hope and some pray that he makes a full and swift recovery. The family have specifically requested privacy. No further statements have been issued by the family or Salford hospital so the facts are as they were until someone tells us different.

I am not particularly interested in whether the Mail has had information leaked to it, or that they have simply made it up. What they have done, though, is to disrespect the family who must be going through a terribly difficult time. It is surely not unreasonable that they have requested that they be left alone. That includes unofficial updates and speculation. It matters not that Sir Alex is one of the most high profile people in the land. He’s someone’s dad, someone’s husband, someone’s grandfather, someone’s friend.

Is it too much to ask that the gutter press might, for once, show some dignity and respect? As it’s the Mail, probably.