CHRIS WHEELER: Ryan Giggs has it all – fame, fortune and medals galore… but only he knows why he can’t stay out of trouble
- Wales boss Ryan Giggs was arrested on suspicion of assaulting his girlfriend
- Giggs has denied the accusations but will miss Wales’ next three games
- It is not the first time the 46-year-old has hit the headlines for the wrong reasons
- The Manchester United legend had a legendary career winning many trophies
In his autobiography, Sir Alex Ferguson sums up the quiet greatness that made Ryan Giggs first among equals in Manchester United’s famous Class of ’92.
‘He is a reserved kind of guy but, of all that bunch, he was the one they looked up to,’ wrote Ferguson. ‘He was the king, the man.’
Giggs was the one who had it all. More than Gary Neville, his brother Phil, Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt and even David Beckham.
Ryan Giggs will miss Wales next three games after he was arrested on suspicion of assault
The most decorated player in the history of English football with 34 honours for United, including an astonishing 13 Premier League titles and two Champions League winner’s medals.
The boy who grew into a man at his one and only club over the course of 29 years, breaking Sir Bobby Charlton’s record by making 963 appearances for United and even briefly succeeding Ferguson as manager before taking charge of his country.
It is hard to think of a more gilded career. Giggs had the lot. Fame, fortune and what appeared to be a perfect family life.
He married his long-time partner Stacey Cooke and set up home with their two children, Liberty and Zach, on the very road in Worsley, Greater Manchester where the latest controversy that threatens to tarnish his image unfolded late on Sunday night.
Quite what happened between Giggs and his partner Kate Greville remains to be seen. He has denied an allegation of assault after being arrested by police and released on bail following a disturbance.
But it is by no means the first time the 46-year-old’s personal life has made headlines since his playing career began drawing to a close. In 2011, Giggs tried unsuccessfully to gag the media from reporting his affair with Big Brother contestant Imogen Thomas.
That same year, it emerged he had been in a long-term relationship with his sister-in-law Natasha, and had even paid her £500 to abort their baby just weeks before she married his younger brother Rhodri.
Stacey stayed with him at first but they split up in 2016 and divorced a year later amid rumours Giggs was flirting with waitresses at a restaurant he owns. The £3.5million marital home is still up for sale but Giggs moved into a smaller property on the same road, having initially bought it for his mother Lynne, and it was there that Sunday’s incident involving his current 36-year-old partner occurred.
The episode at the weekend is said to have happened after Giggs spent the day at Hotel Football — where he met Greville when she did some PR work — and the Stock Exchange Hotel, two businesses he owns with Gary Neville.
Ryan Giggs pictured with his ex-wife Stacey Cooke – the pair divorced back in 2017
The former team-mates and Treble winners are also co-owners of League Two Salford City with others from the Class of ’92.
Giggs’ football career has continued in his role as Wales boss — though that is now in jeopardy after he stood down for the next three games.
At a time when United are mourning the loss of Nobby Stiles and are saddened by the news that Charlton has dementia, it is tempting to think that footballers typically used to live much simpler lives.
Intriguing too to wonder what the paternal Ferguson would make of it all. He ruled Giggs with a rod of iron, kept him back from interviews with the media when he burst on to the scene. He also famously broke up a house party the teenager had arranged with his team-mate Lee Sharpe in 1992.
‘There was no escape,’ Giggs wrote in his book My Life, My Story. ‘He charged into the house like a bull in a china shop, cuffing people out of the way.
‘He was red-faced with rage, an uncontrollable force of nature.’
Maybe Giggs could have done with a bit more of that guidance in recent years, even as a mature man now in his mid-40s.
The king, as Ferguson called him, has landed himself in trouble again. The crown has slipped a little further.
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