Ryan Giggs, Manchester United’s one-man trophy cabinet, was awarded the Freedom of Salford in a ceremony held today. The Welshman, 36, recently picked up the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award and is the current PFA Players Player of the Year. In a glittering career Giggs has won 23 major trophies.
“I moved to the area originally because my dad was a rugby player and I played rugby from being 10 or 11,” said Giggs, who has played for his hometown club his entire career.
“I represented Salford Boys and played for Langworthy. I did play rugby as well but I have to admit I was quite close to choosing rugby. I was certainly undecided. But at 13 I met the manager – and that was the end of that.”
Giggs, originally on the books on Manchester City before joining United, puts his success down to deep roots in the area. And in more than 20 years at the club, Giggs has seen Salford change immensely.
“I have not had the same problems that players from other countries or parts of the UK have,” he said.
“I have friends I can trust. My family is here and I know the area. That has been a help in my career.
“We have the Lowry Theatre, the Imperial War Museum, Media City is being built, and of course United, which is the first place I would tell people to visit.
“I played for Salford Boys at both rugby and football. The United training ground was at Broughton, my kids were born in Hope Hospital. Everything big that has happened in my life has happened in Salford.”