Thousands of messages of support have been sent to a well-known Manchester United fan who is seriously ill after contracting coronavirus.

Dad Steve Donoghue, who is in his early sixties, was taken into hospital with Covid-19 earlier this week and remains in a critical condition.

Steve, originally from Salford but who now lives in Whitefield, Bury is sedated and ventilated in intensive care with his family at his side they said.

A message from his daughter shared on social media today said: "There is no change and dad remains in a critical condition.

"The nurse said that there are other patients on the ward with the same condition and remain critical at three weeks so we are in this for the long haul."

Steve pictured outside the Nags Head pub at one of the annual Stretford Enders reunions

Steve is a lifelong and devoted United fan who has been watching them home and away since the 1960s.

He has written two books about the Reds and also organises annual Stretford Ender reunions as well as visits to Munich for the anniversary of the 1958 air disaster.

And messages of support have flooded in from Reds fans all over the world as well as fans across football divides wishing him and his family all the best in his fight.

In a message on Friday, the Manchester United Supporters Trust (MUST) said : "Our thoughts tonight are with one of our founding members, Steve Donoghue, and all his family and many friends.

"Steve has Coronavirus and is fighting for his life in intensive care. Many will know Steve by sight if not personally. Keep battling pal - we're all with you."

Steve (centre) pictured on one of the trips to Munich he organises

Duncan Drasdo, CEO of MUST and a friend of Steve's told the Manchester Evening News: "I have known him for many years.

"He has been involved with numerous United supporter organisations and was a founder member of MUST.

"He organises the regular Stretford End reunions which are very popular and which a lot of people will know him from.

"There will be United fans all over the world who know Steve and he and his family are in everyone's thoughts and prayers as he battles through this.

"It just shows that this is affecting people of all ages and from all walks of life.

Read today's top stories here

"I've spoken to his family and they want to get the message out there that for some people this is a very serious illness indeed and that everyone should follow the government guidance and stay at home."

Another of Steve's friends Matt Battle, 63, from Chorlton-on-Medlock said: "I used to see Steve and meet up with him at games in the sixties and seventies but we lost touch. Then we got back in touch around through Facebook six or seven years ago and become really good mates again

"He's a great guy. He absolutely loves United and his knowledge about the club is second to none.

"He always makes the effort to speak to and meet fans from all over the world so it's no surprise there have been so messages of support fro him.

"There must be thousands on Facebook in particular and I know they mean a lot to his friends and family.

"It's really brought the disease home to us all. The latest news is quite positive, he's comfortable we've been told.

"He has a stubborn streak and is a fighter and we're sure he can fight this."

Jav said on Twitter: "Sadly, our friend and lifelong defender of MUFC, Steve Donoghue, is seriously ill and fighting for his life in hospital. Covid-19 is attacking his lungs.

"Please pray for our Red brother."