Giggs’ team-mates recall the boy wonder’s debut

CLAYTON BLACKMORE: ‘Ryan could still have been at school a when he made his debut against Everton, but when you are a special player it doesn’t matter how old you are.

At that age, Ryan was so fast and elusive no one could get hold of him anyway. A Welsh rugby international once told me Jonathan Davies had a big nose but never had it broken because he was so elusive - just like Ryan.

No one could put a glove on him during matches. In his younger days when Ryan ran full pelt with the ball he was unstoppable.

Some players lose their edge when their lightning pace goes but that’s not happened with Ryan. He has the experience these days to hold back for a while and do the running when it matters most.

It’s like he’s found an extra yard at times, which is scary for someone who is 37!

With great players you sense something will happen when they are on the ball and Ryan is just like Diego Maradona, George Best and Cristiano Ronaldo in that respect.

Ryan still has a lot of his mates around him from his very early days but shunning the limelight and dedicating himself to his game was the best decision he made.

He’s proud of his Welsh background like I am, but if he had played for England during the seven or eight years when he was at his absolute best he would perhaps have been the greatest player on the world stage’

GARY PALLISTER: ‘I don’t recall a lot about the actual Everton game but I certainly remember the first time I saw Ryan play.

I had just joined United in a £2.3m deal and I was residing in a hotel with Paul Ince, who had also just gone to Old Trafford.

We were at a loose end one night so we went down to watch a Youth Cup game. We saw Sir Alex Ferguson and he called us over to sit with him in the directors box and told us to have a look at this 15-year-old called Ryan Wilson.

The boss rarely raved about young players, but he told us Ryan was something special – and how right he was.

Me and Incey just looked at each other because Ryan was amazing. I recall him running amok against older players.

His balance was amazing and the manager told us then that he was going to be a star of the future. It was easy to see why.

When he joined the first team squad I used to dread being paired against him to do one-on-one drills!

He had electrifying pace, sublime skill and the potential to really embarrass you.

The way his career has developed and matured is no surprise to me nor is the fact he’s the most decorated player in the Premier League.

He hasn’t got that fierce pace any more but he’s adapted his game intelligently and can still manipulate the ball and defenders superbly as we’ve seen this season.’

  • Related keywords: Ryan Giggs, Clayton Blackmore
  • Advertisement
    Advertisement