MESSAGES of support have been issued to a former Rovers defender who is in hospital recovering from surgery on a brain tumour.

The news that Dominic Matteo - who played for Blackburn Rovers between 2004 and 2007 - was in hospital was announced by his former club Liverpool on Saturday morning.

The 45-year-old is understood to have underwent an operation on Monday and is currently being treated after coming out of intensive care, following the discovery of a tumour.

The defender started his career with Liverpool, making 155 appearances, before moving to Leeds where became a fan favourite after scoring the goal against AC Milan which earned United a place in the Champions League knockout stages in 2000/01.

Matteo won six Scotland caps in his career, which ended with spells at Rovers and Stoke before retiring in 2009.

In a statement on Twitter a spokesman for Rovers said: "Everyone at Rovers wishes Dominic a speedy recovery."

Hundreds of fans, former teammates and clubs have now taken to social media to wish Matteo all the best following his operation.