Twenty years ago today the Manchester United legend that is Ryan Giggs made his first team debut for the club playing in the old Division One.
The Welsh wing wizard is by far the most decorated player in English football history winning 11 Premier League winners medals along with 4 FA Cups 4 League Cups and of course he has twice won the UEFA Champions League.
He marked then start of the Premier League era, establishing himself as the first choice left winger for Manchester United by it’s first year and since then he has gone on to play and score in every single Premier League season since its inception.
Tributes to the man have been pouring in all throughout his career, who only as recently as yesterday equalled Sir Bobby Charlton’s record of 606 League appearances in Manchester United’s disappointing 2-1 loss to Chelsea. Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson recently stated: “He’s a phenomenal man. He deserves all the accolades because he’s an example to the game and to any young player.”
He has always been a media shy player, one that is reclusive from the fame and stardom that comes with being a leading premiership footballer having always chosen to put his football before anything else. Ryan Giggs is a dying breed of one club players having played only for Manchester United during his entire career. This is definitely something to be admired, more so considering the amount of talented players that have worn the Manchester United shirt over the years.
Ryan Giggs’ has gone on to achieve fantastic things all throughout his career, however there is one moment of Ryan Giggs’ career which for me just stands out above all others.
It is probably the moment that every single Manchester United fan would also choose as their personal highlight of his career. In that historic treble winning season, in the very last FA Cup Semi-Final replay, Ryan Giggs picked up possession from the halfway line from a loose pass from Patrick Viera and he ran and he ran and he just carried on running, to score what was an inhumane winner against Arsenal to send Manchester United to the final of the FA Cup in extra time, helping our beloved club towards another cup victory.
This is one of my earliest memories of football since his career has lasted for about the same amount of time that I have been alive, and for me it defines everything that is good about football.
Personally I find it difficult to sum up into words what this man is and has been to Manchester United. I run out of superlatives to describe this marvellous human being. He has been a central character in everything that Manchester United has achieved in the past two decades.
In any case it is clear to see that it is Ryan Giggs’ hunger and determination to succeed, to stay at the top of his game, that has been the driving force throughout his career and when that sad day finally comes when he decides to hang up his boots he will be able to look back on an amazing career, one which eANY footballer past or present would look at with envious eyes.
This is my tribute to the man, the player, Ryan Giggs, “Sir” Ryan Giggs, the greatest footballer in Manchester United and Premier League history.