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  • Fergies..Babes Fergies..Babes Feb 15, 2009 20:40 Flag

    Arise Sir Ryan

    Great article from Andy Dunn that i thought id share.

    There are times when something reminds you of why Football remains a game that for all its faults, its hangers on, its obscene ill-gotten rewards - thrills you to the core. Or to be precise Ryan Giggs.

    On thursday evening, i was on a BBC radio show when Stephanie Moore asked what Bobby would have thought of Beckhams equalling of her late husbands record. Quite rightly she said she would of been delighted for him.

    But i wonder what someone such as Bobby would of made of the news item that was emerging at the same time Beckham was dedcorated with his 108th cap for another subs appearance in a meaningley friendly. That Giggs would be extending his playong contract at OT into a 20thb year. Would the understated, dignified, dilligent way Giggs has gone about his professional career have appealed to Moore? You bet it would.

    The only thing that wouldnt appeal - that would, in fact, rile and infuriate - is that Giggs chose not to play for England. Yet that decision still defines Giggs.

    Even back at the start of the 90s the benefits of choosing England whose schoolboys he captained were stark. But he was welsh and he knew it. In the same way Deco knows hes Brazilian and Kevin Pieterson knows hes South African. It was an honest decision. And honesty has characterised the finest career in premier league history. The honesty to treat triumph in the same way as defeat, the honesty to repay the investment of faith and finance from SAF and Manchester United, The honesty to play the game in the way it should be played.

    Have you ever seen Giggs Dive? Of course not. The statistics he will add to over the coming 18 months will tell there own story.

    787 Manchester United appearances, 10 Premier league titles, 4 Fa cup winners medals, 2 CL medals and 2 world club champions medals and many more.

    But statistics are a cold, souless reflection of a mans worth.
    Think of that goal against Arsenal in the FA cup semi final of 1999 and a celebration which was so exuberant he is still probably embarrassed by it now.
    Fast forward nearly 10 years and think of last weekends peach at West Ham that may turn out to be the goal that clinches Ub=niteds 3rd title on the spin and Giggs 11th in all.
    Some career, some footballer, some man.
    But those moments, those stats, sont tell half the story. Dont come withinhalf a mile of reflecting the he has represented Manchester United Football Club.
    A few years back, i was assigned to interview Giggs as part of a promotion that saw a handful of school children win an afternoon training with him. It was bang in the middle of the usual busy, trophy - chasing United schedule. The venue was a desolate school field in Cheshire, the timing was post-training, the weather was foul.
    Horizontal rain temperatures that turned even a red like Giggs blue. With excited kids, boys and girls shivering in there replica shirts awaiting his attention.

    Giggs gave me the full courtesy of answering every question, politely, fully, modestly and intelligently.

    I went away, parked up and scribed the tape. Three hours later, i drove past that same desolate school field, it was getting dark as the rain was getting fiercer, the temperature getting lower. And out of the seven blurred figures, kicking a ball about. Sorry not kicking the ball about. Having a ball. Six bedraggled but delirious kids and one class act.
    When Giggs briefly behaved the way all teenagers do, SAF clipped him round the ear.

    Now he wants a sword dropped gently on to the shoulder of Giggs. Arise, Sir Ryan.
    And as the keyboard gets pummelled and the search in the mirror for the man who loves the game goes on, - I for would not argue.

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