Pen-blwydd hapus (Happy Birthday) Ryan Giggs……


I’ve had to put the English in just in case Ryan reads it, he won’t understand Welsh.

So Giggs is 40 today. Everybody trip over each other and bow down at the hairy ones’ feet and shower him with plaudits of how great he is, how much of a role model he is, how he is the ultimate pro and how he has won so much and has more silverware in his house than Buckingham Palace and his awful beard put together.

If any readers of this article are familiar with the 5 live lunchtime phenomena that is Fighting Talk, this article would be perfect for the ‘Defend the Indefensible’ round. Why Ryan Giggs shouldn’t be as lauded or celebrated as much as he is, is because he is a serial cheat, ruined his brothers marriage and did Wales a national disservice by dropping out of matches regularly because of his famous hamstring injuries, only to be seen tearing down the wing for Manchester United days later. I always thought nah they must have put Rhodri in, but sure enough it was the charlatan that is Ryan Giggs. Charlatan by the way is an excellent adjective for Ryan Giggs, off the back of a number of things he has done in his lifetime, and dropping out of numerous Welsh squads is just one of them.

It is kind of ironic that a milkman spotted Giggs playing football, and started talking to his mum about playing for the local side Deans youth as Giggs recently has sort of adopted the metaphorical milkman role when it comes to the ladies (google Natasha Giggs, Rhodri Giggs and Imogen Thomas for more information). Even from an early age, his ability to drift past players at speed and with an incredible balance was obvious - traits which he probably inherited from his father, who was a rugby league player. These traits were not the only obvious ones from the start, so were his winning drive. He won an Under-16′s regional schools final at the age 14, and this drive stayed with him throughout his career (to an extent). He racked up 168 goals in 953 games, 13 Premier League titles, 4 FA Cups, 4 League Cups and 2 Champions League trophies, not to mention his recent exploit of 3 assists in United’s 5-0 Champions League triumph away to Bundesliga outfit Bayer Leverkusen. It is easy to see why he is regarded so highly in football. The above stats back that up. But for me, I will always have a bit of a bitter and vexed opinion of Giggs because of the contemptuous attitude he gave to the principality, his nation of birth, his heritage, Wales. It is nothing short of a disgrace.

The Giggs trophy room.

The Giggs trophy room.

The Celtic nations, Wales, Scotland and Ireland are all incredibly passionate and proud of their heritage. The honour of playing sport for your home nation is one that is acknowledged as one of, if not the most bestowed and privileged accolade that an athlete can obtain, and for Giggs to dismiss Wales and the Welsh national team is simply disgusting.

One of the few pictures of Giggs in a Welsh shirt. Must have been a big game then.

One of the few pictures of Giggs in a Welsh shirt. Must have been a big game then.

He has been a pro footballer for 23 years – 16 years of which he spent as an ‘international footballer’. In 16 years, he racked up 64 caps - an impressive average of 4 caps a year. To further put it into context, Giggs has played more times in the FA cup than what he has for Wales. His debut was in 1991 in a friendly, it took him nine years to find the time and fitness to pull on the Welsh shirt for another friendly. In the meantime, he was too busy doing ridiculous celebrations with Paul Ince and Lee Sharpe.

To draw some sort of comparison and put Giggs’ failings towards his country into context, David Beckham achieved 115 caps for England, Micheal Owen 89 (in 10 years). More accurately perhaps, we should compare Giggs’ efforts alongside fellow Welshmen. He isn’t even in the top 10 capped players for Wales. Given that he had 16 years as an international, that is farcical. He was playing in a Welsh team that got as close to a major tournament than it had ever done since 1958. He should have had way more than 64 caps. Neville Southall won 92 caps, Gary Speed (RIP) 85 caps, Craig Bellamy (78). Chris Gunter, who is 24, already has 51 caps, Simon Davies obtained 58 caps in 9 years, Hartson 51 in 10 years, Bale has already amassed 43 caps at the age of 24 and Aaron Ramsey already has 30 caps at the age of 22.

Speed, Savage and Hartson. 3 players who made you proud to be Welsh

Speed, Savage and Hartson. 3 players who made you proud to be Welsh

Giggs is a disgrace in his personal life and a disgrace to Wales. A country whose people have so much passion, pride and support for the national sporting sides don’t deserve to be treated with such contempt like Ryan Giggs has treated them. Part of me wishes he had have been eligible and gone and played for England. Maybe then the likes of Paul Parry would have flourished more at international level. For someone with so much talent, Giggs really did do Wales more harm than good. I have more time for the less talented individuals who gave such passion and commitment to the Welsh national side than Giggs ever did. Gabbidon, Speed, Bellamy, Ledley, Gunter, Melville - those guys all mean more to me than Giggs ever will. Yet Giggs had the audacity not to sing the national anthem for Team GB at the London 2012 Olympic Games because he was a proud Welshman. Who are you kidding, Ryan? You are a man in denial and suffering from an identity crisis. A Manchester United legend you may be, but a Welsh great? Not a chance. Giggs doesn’t deserve to be bracketed in the same class as Neville Southall, Gary Speed, Ian Rush, Dean Saunders, John Hartson and many others. He’s not even deserving of being bracketed in the same class as Bale and Ramsey, who will do so much more for Wales than Giggs ever did.

British or Welsh. I'm confused.

British or Welsh. I’m confused.

Happy Birthday Ryan.


By Peter Poonia


Do you agree with Pete’s view on Ryan Giggs? Is he a legend or is the praise he’s receiving unmerited? Please feel free to leave your comments and Pete will respond. Alternatively, comment by following us on Twitter @capsnbovril or ‘like’ our Facebook page at .


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6 Responses to “Pen-blwydd hapus (Happy Birthday) Ryan Giggs……”

  1. glamorgan ginge says:

    Finally some honesty. I’m sick and quite frankly frustrated about reading and hearing all day about Giggs and how amazing he is just because he’s turned 40. I invite all these experts to be a Welshman for a day and then continue with their belief. Great player – yes. Welsh legend – do me a favour. Those players mentioned Giggs isn’t fit enough to lace their boots from a patriotic point of view. Where was he when we needed him? Would he have been so absent if we had a good side? No, he was too busy winning Premier League titles with United.

    Great read.

    • Pete Poonia says:

      Glamorgan ginge (was tempted to call you james collins!) Thanks for reading and commenting on the article. I agree totally with your words. He did nothing for us. I’ve had United fans having a pop at me for this article saying I’m being harsh on giggs. Like we both say and know, he dropped out of squads left right and centre and showed no passion patriotism or loyalty. He left us in the brown stuff regularly.

      The media portray him as an idol. From a welsh point of view he was anything but. Glad you think the same as me. I like to think the majority of welsh football fans agree with us.

      In terms of being honest, all the bits we write are from the heart and what we truly believe. I think a lot of football fans only read and hear what they want to when the harsh reality is that football isn’t all rosey and perfect!

      Thanks again for reading and comnenting. Means a lot to us.


  2. Mrs Giggs says:

    Dear Pete,

    I like your article, a little. As a united fan, admittedly Ryan Giggs can do no wrong in my eyes. I’d let him shag my wife if he fancied it. However, I do take issue with some of the points you have made here, whilst acknowledging that the article serves only as a fishing trip (yes, I’m biting) and a vent for your frustrations.

    Ryan Giggs’ achievements at club level are well-known, but before reading this piece I wasn’t overly familiar with his international career. Nonetheless, I think you have been a little harsh on the veteran. Firstly, the word charlatan, even if it was an adjective, would not be one to describe Ryan Giggs. He has proven himself at the highest level, breaking record after record, and continues to put in dazzling performances at the ripe old age of 40 (don’t act like you weren’t impressed by his mid-week performance). No other player in the premier league era has contributed at the level Giggs’ is now, and surely that is something that should be acknowledged (resist the temptation to go against popular opinion just for the hell of it).

    To call him a charlatan would suggest that the tag of ‘Welsh Legend’ is something he assigned to himself, but this is the first I have heard of it. Understandably, he has not committed himself fully to his national side (how much of that was under his control – I’m not sure). There are sacrifices that come with playing at a top club, such as MUFC, and I am sure Ryan Giggs does not regret making these sacrifices. To say that he has treated his country with ‘contempt’ simply through not playing is very harsh.

    He retired from Welsh football in 2007. Surely enough time has passed to dry out those sour grapes and acknowledge the achievements of a footballing great. One, whose achievements you will not see repeated in your lifetime.

    “Giggs, Giggs will tear you apart, again”.

    • Peter says:

      Mrs giggs, you’d let him shag your wife! Are you in a civil partnership or do you suffer from an identity crisis too?! Take that as a joke by the way,I’m not being serious!

      Firstly thanks for reading and your comment! It makes writing these bits worthwhile when it provokes people into thinking and expressing their views.

      I’m not denying his fantastic achievements or ability whatsoever, let’s make that clear and I think I’ve acknowledged that in the article. But Gary Speed for me should be held in greater esteem than Giggs. A role model on the pitch. Ok didn’t get close to the number of trophies Giggs won but still played at the highest level for a long time. But it was his combined service to Wales that that makes him more of an icon in my opinion. I don’t agree with all this he didn’t have much choice of pulling out of Wales games. Absolute nonsense. It’s your country that should come first every time. Giggs could have played for any club in Europe so fear of of having his domestic career falling apart wasn’t going to happen. But he rolled over and dismissed us far too easily and far too frequently for me. And that shows lack of passion and commitment. Look at the rest of the European international sides, they regularly have their top players from the top clubs turning up for every international week. Why? Because they see the importance and pride that comes with representing your country, something Giggs never had. If you think he hasn’t shown contempt towards Wales by not turning up for games, then I’m not sure how you would describe it.

      6 years isn’t enough time for the ‘sour grapes’ to dry out. He could have given us so much more and taken us to a tournament but he chose not to. And that’s what hurts proud Welsh men and women the most. No denying his brilliance, I’m not discrediting him him that way. But whilst his trophy achievements may not be matched, Aaron Ramsey will eclipse Giggs’ achievements for Wales, and that matters more to me than how many times he plays for United this season.

      Thanks again for your comment and time taken to visit us.


  3. Mark Chapman says:

    Mrs Giggs, thanks for your comment. I’m unsure as to whether Pete is fishing or not, he’s a rather passionate character!

    Regarding the article; yesterday we were deciding on what to write about and the Giggsy piece was discussed by both. I had no indication that it would turn out this way, my version would have been much more complimentary to the wizardry genius!!! Says a lot coming from a Liverpool fan, eh?

    • Peter says:

      I’m not fishing mark! Goes back to the classic case of people only choosing to read, hear and see what they want to believe. Not enough people can see both sides or make both sides of a debate! Fantastic player yes. But a disgrace to his nation for me!

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