Life of Ryan: United hero reveals emotional moment after last game as interim manager
The programme got never-before-seen footage about the legend’s time as interim manager and his four games in charge at Old Trafford
MANCHESTER United hero Ryan Giggs has revealed he sobbed after his last game as interim manager.
Twitter came alive as Manchester sat down to watch an ITV documentary dedicated to the life and times of the United hero.
Life of Ryan: Caretaker Manager focused on the legend’s time as interim manager and his four games in charge at Old Trafford.
After 963 appearances and 13 League titles, the most decorated player in English football history also discussed the highs and lows of management, his playing career and eventual playing retirement.
The film was produced by Fulwell 73, who made the acclaimed The Class of ‘92 film and the ITV documentary First Among Equals: The Laurie Cunningham Story.
It featured contributions from Giggs himself, along with Sir Alex Ferguson, Diego Maradona, Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt, Phil Neville, Gary Neville, David Beckham, Rio Ferdinand, Michael Carrick and Darren Fletcher.
In turn, they admired his athleticism, elegant dribbling, extraordinary balance, technique, touch, and fearlessness – with his goal against David Seaman and Arsenal in 1999 at Villa Park a unanimous favourite.
David Beckham made an appearance to say: “He was one of those players that once he stepped on the field you knew something special was going to happen.”
Paul Scholes added: “He’s the best I’ve ever played with.”
It showed Giggs’ final team talk to the players, in which he told them: “Give the fans something to shout about, it’s been a frustrating season but I’m looking forward to it because of the exciting day we’ve got on the pitch.”
There was also a glimpse of his home life – and a touching scene where he chatted with his daughter in the car.
Twitter followers were divided on the show – but the tag ‘legend’ was well-used throughout the evening. @tom0dj34 said: “Not too many people I think are legends #Ryan giggs...absolute quality delighted hes still at united#mufc
Lewis Ireland, @LewisIreland180, said: “Ryan Giggs, absolute legend”, James @JamesMoss added: “Ryan Giggs is such a legend while Liam Hundley @LiamHundley added: “Can’t even comprehend why people are watching big brother when a Ryan Giggs documentary is on itv1.”
Many viewers were impressed with how Giggs came across, with Moe Homer Ha@MoeHomerHa tweeting: “New found respect for Ryan Giggs and I only ever watch World Cup footie.”
And Joe Firth, @Joe_firth97 added: “I might hate Manchester United but Ryan Giggs is a legend.”
While some just admired his aesthetics. Sarahjaney @sarahnext27 said: “Ryan Giggs has aged beautifully my god those eyes the documentary is tops.”
Others were more cheeky with their comments. Jessika Kitson @jessika_safe said: “Ryan Giggs – ‘Old Trafford is the theatre of dreams’ especially for sundersland fans! A dream that became a reality! Dougboat,@DougieHeaps74 added: “This is Tv gold. Ryan now speaking about trust and the players letting him down. Self awareness obviously not his strongest point.”
On getting emotional: “We got off the plane at Manchester Airport, I was saying goodbye to the players and thanking them – potentially saying goodbye to a lot of players for the last time, it’s sad.
I’m not really an emotional person but my car was parked right outside and I thought ‘I need to get in my car really’, I could feel myself getting emotional so I got in my car and I just started getting really emotional. I think it was just saying goodbye to people for maybe the last time and the pressure I’d put myself under, it’s just not me, not me at all.”
Eric Cantona on Giggs: “He’s like a Tour de France. Giggsy was good in the mountains and good in the sprint. Of course as well he has a great skill and a great left foot – his right is not so good but his left is so good..”
Sir Alex Ferguson on Giggs: “In terms of an athlete and football, his great attributes of balance and stamina have allowed him to stay in the game until 40 years of age – he’s a freak really as an athlete – an absolute freak. Giggs is one of the best three or four players in United’s history.”
Giggs himself...On training: “Training was always the best part of the day to me – after you’ve exercised you feel great.”
On Old Trafford: “Old Trafford is unique, just like its name, it’s the Theatre of Dreams. The roar of the crowd just makes you bigger, it makes you stronger, you want to do well for the fans and you love it, embrace it and you want the feeling to last forever.”
On THAT goal against Arsenal: “I didn’t do anything before or anything after that goal because that’s all people talk about – but that’s okay.”
On giving young players a chance: “Young players will try things that older players won’t try. We’ve all been there as young players making a debut and it was a great moment. No matter how many games you play if you get a great response from the fans it gives you that extra spring in your step.”
On his final game: “There was a little thing in my head that said ‘this could be the last time...but I was no different than any other game that I’ve approached.”
On his season: “I would have like to have scored this season but it wasn’t too good. I would really really loved to, but it didn’t happen.”
On his career: “It’s been a whirlwind and I wouldn’t change it for the world. It was a strange feeling knowing I didn’t have to come in tomorrow, it’s a new beginning, it’s exciting and for the first time in my career it’s going into what’s going to be a different season and a different summer.
“I’ve been fortunate to play football for a living since I left school, to know and play for a team I supported as a kid and to play with the greatest manager ever. I ‘m not one to dwell on things because if I did I would get upset but I’ve had the best career anyone could ever have."