Ryan Giggs /

Ryan Giggs

Date of Birth

29 November 1973

Sport

Football

From

Cardiff

Biography

The only surprise about Ryan Giggs being named PFA Player's Player of the Year in April 2009 was that it had taken so long for him to win the prestigious award.

After all, he'd previously received countless other individual gongs - including the PFA Young Player award twice in his early career - not to mention more team honours than any other United player in the club's illustrious history.

Ryan is United's record appearance-maker; he surpassed Sir Bobby Charlton's 758 on the night he helped the Reds secure a third European Cup triumph - his second - in Moscow on 21 May 2008.

He's also the only player to have scored in every Premier League season; he maintained that remarkable record with a volley in United's opening-day win over Newcastle in August 2010.

United's most decorated player might never have graced Old Trafford, however, had it not been for Sir Alex Ferguson's intervention. Cardiff-born Giggs was attending Manchester City's School of Excellence in his early teens, but Sir Alex made a personal visit to his house on his 14th birthday and Ryan jumped at the chance to sign for his boyhood favourites.

Ryan turned professional at United in November 1990 and made his league debut in the old Division One against Everton at Old Trafford on 2 March 1991 as a substitute for Denis Irwin. His first league start in 1991/92 also proved a memorable occasion, as he also scored his first ever United goal that day (albeit via a huge deflection off Colin Hendry) in a 1-0 win over Manchester City.

Giggs' first senior trophy arrived in November 1991 as United beat Red Star Belgrade in the European Super Cup final - Ryan came on for Lee Martin. He picked up his second winners' medal five months later as the Reds beat Nottingham Forest in the League Cup final. The following season, 1992/93, saw Giggs and United win the inaugural Premier League title.

Ryan was an integral part of two Double-winning sides, in 1993/94 and 1995/96, before going one better in 1998/99 byadding the European Cup to the FA Cup and Premier League trophy. His contributions to the Treble-winning campaign included a superb solo goal to win the FA Cup semi-final replay against Arsenal at Villa Park, commonly regarded as one of United's greatest ever goals.

Ryan celebrated 10 years at Old Trafford with a testimonial match against Celtic in 2001/02. A year later he bagged his 100th career goal in the 2-2 draw with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge and became only the second-ever player to play 700 games for United when he helped the Reds to a dramatic 1-0 win over Liverpool at Anfield in March 2007. Two months later, he became a league title winner for the ninth time, beating the record of eight championship medals held by Liverpool legends Phil Neal and Alan Hansen.

In the interests of prolonging his club career at the highest level, Ryan retired from international football with Wales in June 2007 after 64 games and 12 goals. In October 2007, he extended his United contract to June 2009.

December 2007 brought two landmark feats - Ryan was awarded the OBE (Order of the British Empire) for his services to football and he scored his 100th league career goal in the 4-0 home win over Derby County.

Ryan crowned the epic 2007/08 season, his 18th in United's first team, by scoring the Reds' second goal in the last-day league win at Wigan and slotting home what proved to be the decisive penalty in the Champions League final shoot-out.

Giggs' career continued with a flourish during 2008/09, when he adopted a more central position in midfield or just off the main striker as the Reds retained the title.

Used primarily in his old wing position during 2009/10, Ryan was one of the Reds' most consistent performers until February when, in a challenge with Aston Villa's Steve Sidwell, he fractured his right arm and missed five weeks of football. The injury forced Giggs out of key European ties, as well as the Carling Cup final but he returned in late March to drive United's relentless (yet ultimately unsuccessful) bid for a fourth consecutive title.

Despite not adding to his medals tally, there was still much to celebrate personally in 2009/10. He was named BBC Sports Personality of the Year - on 30 November, the day after his 36th birthday - and a few weeks later he extended his Reds contract by one year.

Giggs' most recent season brought another landmark, as he surpassed Charlton's United league appearances record by playing his 607th game against Liverpool in March 2011.

He'd already penned another one-year deal and this was no sentimental gesture by Sir Alex: his elder statesman continued to produce some instrumental performances both in the middle and out wide. The 2010/11 title triumph was Giggs' 12th in total: it's a record that almost defies belief.

Please note that content for this biography was taken from the official Manchester United website.

In 2012, Ryan Giggs was selected to captain Team GB's side for London 2012. They bowed out at the quarter final stages to South Korea.