Ryan Giggs – A Manchester United legend

There’s not many more accolades for Ryan Giggs to achieve in his illustrious career, however, the Manchester United stalwart is set to reach another in the coming days when he plays his 1,000th competitive game.

Giggs will celebrate the milestone with a new 12 month contract from United that will take him past his 40th birthday, and see him enter his 24th competitive season. Giggs career was mapped out from an early age, after his talent was spotted first by Manchester City, however a chance discussion alerted then United Assistant Manager, Brian Kidd, who in turn alerted Sir Alex Ferguson, this led Ferguson to invite Giggs along to a trial and after he scored a hat trick the rest his history.

Without doubt Giggs can now be regarded as a United legend and his name will forever be intertwined with the very fabric of the club, however Giggs career could have taken a turn down a blind alley had he followed the destructive path of his one time best mate at United.

Lee Sharpe was a talented footballer, but his penchant to live the high life and his determination to burn the candle at both ends, was ruining a potentially glittering career. Unfortunately at the time, Sharpe was dragging Giggs with him, and only one of Ferguson’s spies saved Giggs from an early exit from the club.

The story is part of Old Trafford folklore and so the story goes, Ferguson paid Sharpe’s house a visit after being tipped off that he was having a party. The partygoers were shocked and surprised to find Ferguson standing at the door in his suit after he had cut short his appearance at a charity dinner. Ferguson ordered everyone out of the house and warned the two starlets they were on their last warning.

We all know now which path each player chose, with Sharpe unable to toe the Ferguson line he was quickly shepherded out of the club and Giggs chose to knuckle down and ensure he didn’t throw away a career he had worked hard to build. Ferguson’s decision was made easy by Sharpe’s determination to carry on partying, and he also knew to keep Sharpe at the club would provide temptation and potentially ruin Giggs, a player Ferguson knew was destined for great things.

You only have to look at the receptions he receives at opposing European clubs to see the esteem he his held in, and despite Giggs ups and downs in his private life. Whatever happens, he will always be revered at Manchester United and across the world of Football in general.