Ferguson and Gerrard gave support to Shawcross

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Stoke defender Ryan Shawcross has revealed that messages of support from Sir Alex Ferguson and Steven Gerrard helped lift his spirits following the tackle which broke Aaron Ramsey's leg.

The Manchester United manager and Liverpool midfielder both got in touch within hours of the 22-year-old being sent off for a challenge which left Arsenal's Ramsey with an horrific double-fracture of his right leg.

Shawcross insists he has now moved on from the incident and said: "I was quite surprised how quickly I was back to normal. It was an accident and these things happen in football - I'm not going to change the way I play."

Ferguson called Shawcross after United's Carling Cup final victory over Aston Villa - the day after Stoke's game.

Gerrard, who was captain of the England squad the defender had just been called up to, sent a text message welcoming him into Fabio Capello's group and asking about his welfare.

Shawcross, who received more than 300 emails and 100 letters of support from fans after the incident, has now served his three-match ban for the challenge and said: "That's the end of it. We made contact but I'd like to keep that between me and Aaron.

"I just want to concentrate on football and Aaron has to concentrate on getting back to full fitness. It was a big downer after that incident and then I got the England call up, which was a fantastic achievement.

"Sir Alex rang me after the Carling Cup final, which was good of him, and we had a good chat and that was just something to lift my spirits.

"That is the man he is and he is a fantastic manager and even when you leave he keeps in contact and makes sure you are all right. That is probably why he is one of the best managers there has been.

"I got a text from Steven Gerrard to say I was welcome in the squad, so straight away I knew they would be fine with me. He was checking I was fine. He didn't have to do it but it shows what kind of character he is in helping someone out."

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Stoke City
Ryan Shawcross
Premier League

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