A THOUGHTFUL insight into the fierce determination that has shaped a model professional career. A unique look at the drivers behind two decades of relentless glory. A heart-rending tale of ceaseless Welsh frustration.
All things not provided by Ryan Giggs: My Life, My Story. Here, though, are 20 gems we do learn;
1. White Hart Lane is Giggsy’s favourite ground. He has thought long and hard about this. “I think the white shorts and socks – which invariably we wear there to contrast with Spurs’ colours – look very smart.”
2. Giggsy is a keen student of comedy. “Roy Keane is one of the funniest blokes I’ve ever met.”
3. Unlike some younger, more Scouse teammates, Giggsy knows which side is bread is buttered on. Of a brief early stint at Man City, he says; “I never took to it. There was something about the place I didn’t like.” By the way, grab your tickets for this weekend’s momentous Manchester derby on TixDaq.
4. Giggsy’s life began when he turned professional. Sadly, he has since died. “I have made countless lifelong friends during my career.”
5. During a 5-2 win over Oldham in 1991, Giggsy first wore a long-sleeved shirt. He has reflected on this, up to a point. “I found that I just felt more comfortable in it and I stuck to long sleeves for the next fifteen years or so. Now I prefer short sleeves again, I can’t really explain why.”
6. The purity of that emotive fingertips-touching dance-off with Paul Ince at Elland Road in ’94 wasn’t born purely of instinct. Incey says: “We practised that celebration at home, in our bedrooms. I think it was a really fine routine.”
7. The Liverpool supporter who asked Giggsy for his autograph and tore it up in front of him after United blew the title at Anfield in 1992 has a lot to answer for. “My encounter with that mindlessly crass individual proved brilliant motivation for the future.”
8. Giggsy’s taste in comedy can evolve. “He likes a laugh does Nicky Butt, one of the funniest people I’ve ever met.”
9. That was a lot of wasted effort Wenger and co put in during 2002. “Chapter 7, 1999/2000 2000/01 2001/02 Completing a treasured hat-trick.”
10. Without wanting to give away too much sensitive information, Giggsy is prepared to admit he likes to vary the delivery of his corners. “I sometimes opt for the far post, at others the near.”
11. Giggsy needed to get directions from Paul Ince to find his way to the party at Steve Bruce’s house the night United were crowned champs in \’93.
12. Giggsy was impressed with Nelson Mandela’s “knowledge of the game” when he met him later that summer. “He told me he’d watched me and thought I was a good player.”
13. Hold on, this is a good one; Giggsy can put his sidestep to equally good use averting diplomatic incidents. Having been crowned man of the match after the Inter-continental Cup in Tokyo in 1999, Giggsy was told he could choose between a Toyota or its cash value.
“Oh, I’ll have the money then,” he naturally elected, before noting the creasing frowns and muttered panic sweating from a collection of Japanese suits. “I’m only joking, of course I want the car,” he jinked, to a gust of sweet relief. He gave the motor to brother Rhodri.
14. Giggsy deliberates hard over career goals. “I always said I wanted to win eleven championship medals because that’s the number I wear on my shirt.”
15. Giggsy regrouped admirably after the initial shock of David Beckham’s decision to ask for a number one all over: “To be fair, I think his new hairdo suited him, and certainly it set a trend.”
16. Did I really say 20 things? A little rash.
17. Filling a book with nice pictures and some throwaway remarks is a handy way of making an extra few bob all the same.
18. You still can’t really begrudge Giggsy can you?
19. Oh, let’s just leave it.
Ryan Giggs: My Life, My Story is published by Headline