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The Magnificent Eleven – Ryan Giggs’ Last Stand

September 1, 2009


I can sense that with all but 4 games burned in the Premier League calender, that footballing obituaries are being started to be written for the end of a certain players career.

Alas, the modern day hero we call Ryan Giggs is coming to the end of his shelf life, breathing his final breaths as a player, before he embarks on a journey into management, sitting on the Match of the Day sofa with Alan Hansen, and lowering his golf handicap to scratch.

We cannot expect him to go on forever.

Giggsy has already astounded me with his longevity. I remember sitting in the stands at Old Trafford 4 years ago witnessing what I thought was his last stand. Pace gone. Passing awkward. Petrol tank empty. And yet somehow, he manages to find a filling station, re-energise and play an important part for the club. Even at half time this last weekend against Arsenal, I and many others, were crying for the manager to substitute the old war horse at half time…not quick enough to support Rooney up front and getting mugged off at every opportunity by Diaby and Denilson…Then what does he do? He plays a sublime pass forward for the penalty, and grabs a further assist by bouncing the ball off Diaby’s bonce. Magic stuff.

To be truthful, probably Scholes and Neville are the prime candidates for passing into United Legend this season, but I think the Lord Ryan will be close behind them, if not holding their hands, skipping off together to that big Sky Sports News centre in the sky. All have been amazing servants to this club, in an age where loyalty means jack to the businessman footballer. But Giggs will be the one remembered the most fondly. More fondly than Keane. More fondly than Ronaldo. And right up there with Cantona, Robson and Best. Its amazing to think that in the very early Nineties that all our faith lay in a young lad called Lee Sharpe, England International at the age of 19, and creator of many an interesting goal celebration (Remember the Lee Sharpe Shuffle? The Elvis cornerflag routine?) It was felt that he was the real deal, and that Giggs would be a brilliant understudy. Funny how things turn out.(Lee Sharpe can now be found on a fantasy love island near you)

The man is a legend. And for that reason alone I will enjoy watching him in these last games for the club..he may only grace Old Trafford another 20 times this season and with rotation will probably play a lot less that this!

So its thank you Ryan Giggs. Grown men and women will cry tears of respect and mourn his passing. For a player that never once shamed his club and only bestowed glory. A player that never felt compelled to go out dressed in a sarong and marry a pop star. A player that never felt the need to go out and kick someones head in with his drunken ape-like hangers on. A player who was never caught up in a sex and drugs scandal. A player who won more trophies than any other in history. A player that danced through the Arsenal team in 1999 to score the greatest United goal I ever saw. A player who forever more will own the Number Eleven and our hearts.

Lets hope that maybe his last act is lifting the European Cup above his head in Madrid in 2010..for that’s how fairytales are supposed to end.

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. Rite$h permalink
    September 1, 2009 11:47 am

    A “soldier” true to the cause, but alas fading with time, I still remember his mazy runs along that left wing leaving opposition players dumbfounded, and how not to forget that goal against Arsenal in the FA Cup beating Seaman.
    I hope he continues to play some more, even though as a substitute, and one day join the United staff

  2. September 1, 2009 12:18 pm

    Cool. I like getting weepy at 7 AM before work. Ta, Rob.
    Let’s also mention Giggsy’s contributions to the anti-racism campaigns.
    I would guess this may be his last year on the pitch but I think he’ll be around Old Trafford in some capacity for a long long time.
    And he may not be in his prime anymore, but he’s not sucking the life right out of the pitch for Christ sake.
    And on another note, the man ages like a fine wine. A very very very fine wine. It’s really something special when your 12 year old crush remains your crush when you’re 30. One in a million. He’s meant so much to so many of us.

    • September 1, 2009 2:13 pm

      sorry KP didnt mean to make you cry…actually i had a tear in my eye while writing the end of the article and then slapped myself round the face and told myself to buckle up. I hope he stays on at the club in some capacity

  3. September 1, 2009 12:32 pm

    he inspired me to play football, in fact my first football boots was his reebok sidewinder – something like this but the first model with red trims.

    my friends and i even bought his video, we were curling free-kicks at regents park all summer long. good times.

  4. September 1, 2009 1:20 pm

    Giggs is and always was a class player I loved to watch.

  5. September 1, 2009 4:25 pm

    How in the world do you replace a legend like this?

  6. September 2, 2009 3:55 am

    This article just made me shed man tears. Rob Blanchette if you didn’t already have children or look suspiciously like my uncle, then I’d willingly bend over and let you have your way. Please, be gentle.

    • September 2, 2009 9:52 am

      I have been known to reduce both men and women to tears with my words and poetry. AB you are in a long que ;-)


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