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Ex-Man Utd midfielder Eikrem: I had diabetes and was terrified - then Sir Alex walked in...

Molde midfielder Magnus Wolff Eikrem has revealed how Sir Alex Ferguson helped him get over being diagnosed with diabetes as a teenager.

Eikrem was a 16 year-old trainee with Manchester United when he was told he had diabetes.

He recalled to VG, "I laid there. Was terrified that it was already over. In came Ferguson. He reassured me. It meant a lot to me when I was thinking negative thoughts.

"I remember he said 'you can play football again, take it easy', and told me of Tottenham player Gary Mabbutt, among others, who was a top player who had lived long with the diagnosis. It helped a lot in my mind."

Since his time with United, Eikrem has enjoyed great success in England, Holland and now back home in Norway.

The Norway international added: "The things I do don't take long. Under five minutes for everything. It's no problem, but it has to be done. It becomes routine, a habit. And that is very important. It happens that the blood sugar is too high during the break, for example, and I have to take a syringe then, or it is too low and I have to eat something.

"To a certain extent, I agree that I should have gotten even more out of my career. But I've won five league titles. And after returning home last time, it's probably the best football I've ever played in my career."

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Paul Vegas

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