Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Ryan Giggs

Although he broke his cheekbone and the game itself was a disappointing draw, last night's fixture with Lille was Ryan Giggs' 1ooth European match for Manchester United. That is a remarkable achievement, and his incredible run dates back to a Cup Winners� Cup encounter against Atletico Madrid in 1991. He must be the most experienced player in the Premiereship by now and he played for Wales when he was seventeen.

A Welsh Born Icon indeed.

He hasn't always had the easiest life I believe. I remember being surprised to learn that his father was a black Welsh rugby player, Danny Wilson, and, as the Cardiff born product of a mixed marriage, Giggs had to endure racial taunts in his youth. Even worse, perhaps, was the shadow that his father's violent, promiscuous behaviour cast over the family. "A real rogue", he had, in Giggs's words, a "bullying, aggressive nature", one that led to his being arrested for beating up his wife when Giggs was just three.

He seems to be a far more private and reticent man that most current professional footballers. I have got a pet theory that one of the best things that ever happened to him was the later rise of David Beckham who revelled in the spotlight in a way that Giggs never could and distracted unwelcome attention from him off the pitch.

No comments: