Former Manchester United striker Andy Cole has undergone a kidney transplant, the club have confirmed.
The treatment is part of Cole's ongoing treatment for a condition called Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis, which attacks the blood-cleaning units in the kidney.
United have said Cole, 45, will take a break from his work as an ambassador for the club, whom he graced for six years up to 2001.
Confirming the news on their website, United said “Andrew and his family would like to thank the club and fans for their support. They also request that he can continue with his treatment in private, and ask that their privacy is respected.”
Cole moved to Old Trafford in a British-record £7m deal from Newcastle in January 1995 and was an integral part of United's treble-winning 1998-1999 season, during which he scored 24 goals - including the winner in United's 2-1 victory over Tottenham on the final day of the Premier League season, which clinched the domestic championship.
He also played for a string of clubs including Arsenal, Manchester City and Sunderland as well as the English national team.
Cole is now one of a string of ambassadors representing United around the world as part of the club's hugely successful commercial drive.