Friday, August 24, 2007
Ryan Gigg - Manchester United Forever
Ryan Joseph Giggs OBE (born Ryan Joseph Wilson on 29 November 1973 in Cardiff) is a Welsh footballer, currently playing for Manchester United in the English Premiership, and formerly for the Welsh national team prior to his retirement from international football on June 2, 2007. Giggs received an OBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List, alongside his former team mate Teddy Sheringham, who received an MBE.
Giggs' father was Danny Wilson, a noted Rugby League player, and his mother was Lynne Giggs. Although born in Cardiff, he was raised in Pendlebury, England and speaks with a Mancunian accent. His father was of mixed race (of Sierra Leonean ancestry) and Giggs has always expressed pride at his mixed heritage.
Giggs is Manchester United's longest-serving current player, having made his first appearance for the club during the 1990-91 season and been a regular player since the 1991-92 season. He has played the second highest number of competitive games for the club (second only to Bobby Charlton), and holds the club record of team trophies won by a player (23). Since 1992, he has collected nine Premier League winners' medals, four FA Cup winner's medals, two League Cup winner's medals and one Champions League winner's medal. He also has runners-up medals from two FA Cup finals and two League Cup finals, as well as being part of four United teams who have finished second in the league.
Giggs captained England Schoolboys (which all schoolboys in England are eligible to play for, regardless of nationality), but played for the Welsh national team as an adult. At the time of his début in 1991, Giggs (still only 17 at the time) was the youngest player to represent his country at the highest level. He was appointed captain of Wales in 2004.
He also won the PFA Young Player of the Year award twice (1992 and 1993), making him the first player to win the award in consecutive years - a feat matched only by Robbie Fowler and current team-mate Wayne Rooney. Giggs holds many other records, including that of the top all-time scorer in the FA Premier League not to play regularly in the position of striker, and holds the record for scoring Manchester United's fastest goal (15 seconds), set in November 1995 against Southampton, and is one of only two players to have scored in every Premiership campaign (Gary Speed being the other). Also, having scored his first European goal of the season in United’s 3-1 victory over Benfica, Giggs became the first player in Champions League history to score in 12 successive seasons.
Fans have also voted that Giggs scored Manchester United's greatest goal, in the semi-final of the 1999 FA Cup against Arsenal where he beat four defenders (Lee Dixon twice) to score. Giggs' squad number for Manchester United is 11.
Giggs is currently vice-captain to Gary Neville at Manchester United.