If you only buy one book this year here’s one that has only gone into the bookshops a week ago and should create plenty of interest for any true Manchester United fan. It is the amazing story of the legendary number 11.
Frank Worrall is a journalist who writes regularly for the Sunday Times and the Sun. In this excellent book he gives the reader an inside look at the career of the Manchester United and Wales legend Ryan Giggs. His other recent works include Roy Keane: Red Man Walking and Wayne Rooney: Wayne’s World.
So much can be said about Giggs that it seems 288 pages is hardly enough but Worrall has a good go and takes his readers right through the Welshman’s life, from his upbringing on a council estate to his standing on top of the football world. ‘Giggsy’ was an integral part of the historic Treble winning side in 1999 and is the only Manchester United player to have played in both the 1999 and 2008 Champions League victories.
There are unknown snippets that even the most avid of his fans will find surprising. Giggs has done so much in the game that going on his journey again is more than a worthwhile way to spend an afternoon. Giggs first trained with Manchester City’s School of Excellence before Sir Alex Ferguson spotted his prodigious talent, turning up at Giggs’ home to sign him on his 14th birthday.
By the time he made his Manchester United first team debut aged just 17, many considered him to be the greatest talent in English football since George Best. By the advent of the Premier League in 1992, Giggs was firmly established as United’s left winger, a position he continued to dominate until late in his career when Ferguson switched him to a deeper role in central midfield.
Famed for his pace and skill on the ball, Giggs has scored vital goals throughout his career most notably his incredible solo effort in the 1999 FA Cup semi-final replay against Arsenal where he picked the ball up in his own half and embarked on a mazy run around the entire Arsenal back four before lofting the ball into the back of the net.
Having committed his entire career to United, Giggs eclipsed Bobby Charlton’s record in April 2009 when he made his 800th appearance for the club. That year also brought his 11th Premier League winner’s medal – he is the only player to have scored in every Premier League campaign since its inception – and the PFA Player of the Year award.
Giggs has scored nearly 150 goals for United and his incredible record with the club has ensured that he will go down in history as one of United’s greatest ever players.
Where do you rate Giggs amongst United legends?