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Ryan Giggs may have to wait a YEAR to try to clear his name

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Ryan Giggs may have to wait almost a year for a re-trial after the jury in his domestic violence case failed to reach a verdict yesterday.

The former Manchester United player, 48, was accused of using coercive and controlling behaviour against ex-girlfriend Kate Greville, before allegedly headbutting her at his £1.7million home during a drunken row.

But after almost 23 hours of deliberation, the seven women and four men on the jury at Manchester Crown Court were discharged after failing to reach a verdict. 

There were only 11 jurors because one became ill and was discharged last week.

The hearing, which lasted 17 days, is estimated to have cost the taxpayer more than £100,000.

The former Manchester United player, 48, was accused of using coercive and controlling behaviour against ex-girlfriend Kate Greville. Pictured: Ryan Giggs leaves Manchester Crown Court

Giggs must now wait a week to find out whether prosecutors will run a re-trial. But due to the scale of court delays, the first available date it could be heard again at Manchester Crown Court is June.

The former footballer dropped his head and appeared crestfallen when the date was relayed to the court. Giggs’s mother, Lynne, who has supported her son throughout and looked on from the public gallery, held her head in her hands.

Outside court she said her son’s life was ‘on hold’.

Judge Hilary Manley thanked the jury for the ‘care and attention’ they had given the case and formally discharged them.

Prosecutor Peter Wright QC asked the judge for seven days for the Crown Prosecution Service to decide whether a re-trial should be held. 

She agreed and set a provisional date for June 5 next year – although she stressed this was not an official trial date or pre-emptive of a decision on whether it will happen. 

The trial laid bare the personal and sex life of one of the Premier League’s most decorated stars.

Intimate messages between Giggs and Miss Greville, 37, with whom he had a six-year relationship – including toe-curling poetry and details of their ‘rough’ sex – were read to the jury, who also heard about their lockdown rows over the dishwasher.

But after almost 23 hours of deliberation, the seven women and four men on the jury at Manchester Crown Court were discharged after failing to reach a verdict. Pictured: Kate Greville

But after almost 23 hours of deliberation, the seven women and four men on the jury at Manchester Crown Court were discharged after failing to reach a verdict. Pictured: Kate Greville

Embarrassing revelations about how Giggs allegedly cheated on former public schoolgirl Miss Greville with up to 12 women – while at the same time professing his undying love for her and his desire to start a family with her – were also relayed to the court.

During three days of testimony Giggs admitted being a liar and a cheat who could not resist an attractive woman, and accepted he had never been faithful to any romantic partner in his life.

He broke down and sobbed in court as he recounted how spending the night in the cells following his arrest was the ‘worst experience of my life’.

The former Wales manager was accused of controlling and coercing Miss Greville. When she announced she was leaving him, on November 1, 2020, Giggs allegedly headbutted her at his mansion in Worsley, Greater Manchester. 

He was also accused of assaulting her sister, Emma, 26, who was at the property looking after the couple’s puppy. Giggs denied one count of controlling and coercive behaviour and two offences of assault.

Alex Ferguson stepped up to defend his protégé: How Manchester United legend spoke fondly of the ‘example’ footballer he had ‘protected’ since the age of 14 

When Manchester United titan Sir Alex Ferguson entered the witness box at the trial of his former prodigy Ryan Giggs, it highlighted the close bond between the two men which has endured for over 35 years.

Sir Alex first saw the young player aged just 13, scoring a hat-trick for Salford Boys against a Manchester United Under-15s side.

He recalled: ‘He was 13 and just floated over the ground like a cocker spaniel chasing a piece of silver paper on the wind.’

On the day of Giggs’ 14th birthday, the manager famously turned up at his home with United scout Joe Brown to sign him up for two years on associate schoolboy forms.

Previously, Giggs had played for Manchester City’s youth sides as part of their Centre of Excellence, and Ferguson recalled: ‘We always had a few scouts who claimed they were the one who discovered Giggsy.

‘They probably did, but they never acted on what they saw. It was actually a steward [newsagent Harold Wood] who first told me, it was a disgrace that this Manchester United fan was training down the road at City.’

Fergie said he had to ‘protect’ Giggs when he began playing for United’s first team aged just 17 after the winger was compared to legendary player George Best.

When Manchester United titan Sir Alex Ferguson (pictured arriving at court last week to be a character witness in Giggs' trial) entered the witness box at the trial of his former prodigy Ryan Giggs, it highlighted the close bond between the two men which has endured for over 35 years

When Manchester United titan Sir Alex Ferguson (pictured arriving at court last week to be a character witness in Giggs’ trial) entered the witness box at the trial of his former prodigy Ryan Giggs, it highlighted the close bond between the two men which has endured for over 35 years

Giggs became a first-team regular early in the 1991-92 season, but also played in the youth system and captained the team - known as the so-called 'Fergie's Fledglings' Comprising of Giggs himself, David Beckham, Nicky Butt, Phil and Gary Neville and Paul Scholes, the team claimed victory in the 1992 FA Youth Cup, earning them their better-known sobriquet, 'The Class of '92' (pictured)

Giggs became a first-team regular early in the 1991-92 season, but also played in the youth system and captained the team – known as the so-called ‘Fergie’s Fledglings’ Comprising of Giggs himself, David Beckham, Nicky Butt, Phil and Gary Neville and Paul Scholes, the team claimed victory in the 1992 FA Youth Cup, earning them their better-known sobriquet, ‘The Class of ’92’ (pictured)

Ryan Giggs, Sir Alex Ferguson and Lee Sharpe of Manchester United celebrate in the dressing room with the Premiership Trophy after becoming FA Carling Premiership Winners in the 1993-94 season

Ryan Giggs, Sir Alex Ferguson and Lee Sharpe of Manchester United celebrate in the dressing room with the Premiership Trophy after becoming FA Carling Premiership Winners in the 1993-94 season

Ryan Giggs celebrates with the FA Youth Cup trophy after his side beat Crystal Palace in 1992

Ryan Giggs celebrates with the FA Youth Cup trophy after his side beat Crystal Palace in 1992

What Sir Alex Ferguson said about Ryan Giggs while giving evidence as a character reference at his domestic assault trial

On meeting Giggs

Sir Alex said: ‘When I first met him he was at a local team and training at Manchester City’s ground. We were working hard to get him to come to Clifton (Manchester United’s training ground).

‘He came to us with his father on one occasion and after that we started visiting his house to convince him to come to Manchester United.

Sir Alex, who was in the witness box for around ten minutes, revealed that he regularly visited Gigg’s home with Archie Knox, his assistant at the time.

He continued: ‘Our main contact was Ryan’s mother. She was very good about it all. 

‘Ryan was a quiet boy, he just sat there and listened to what his mother was saying.’

On his rise as a young star 

Sir Alex told the court that after Giggs signed for Manchester United, he took him personally under his wing after he broke into the first team at the age of 17.

Sir Alex said: ‘He was being compared to George Best. There was a lot of press and media attention on him. 

‘I saw him every day, I was his manager. The boy was great, he was no problem.’

On his temperament 

Sir Alex said: ‘As he got older he had a wonderful temperament. In the dressing room, I used Ryan as an example a lot. 

‘I would lose my temper over performances. Sometimes he got the sharp end of my tongue. But I knew he could take it, he was strong enough.

‘Everyone in the dressing room would think, if Ryan Giggs can take it, we all can take it.’ 

When asked by Gigg’s lawyer if he ever saw Giggs angry or aggressive, Sir Alex replied: ‘No.’

‘(He had a) fantastic, wonderful temperament. To have a career as long as he did, in terms of energy and attitude he was the best. 

‘He was the best example that I had. Everyone looked at Ryan as the number one.’  

In fact there was so much talk along those lines that Best himself – who along with Sir Bobby Charlton used to love watching Giggs playing at United’s training ground The Cliff – joked: ‘One day they might even say that I was another Ryan Giggs.’

Sir Alex spoke about his experience of meeting a young Giggs, during the his recent domestic assault trial.

The legendary manager, 80, speaking as a character reference for Giggs, said: ‘When I first met him he was at a local team and training at Manchester City’s ground. We were working hard to get him to come to Clifton (Manchester United’s training ground).

‘He came to us with his father on one occasion and after that we started visiting his house to convince him to come to Manchester United.

Sir Alex, who was in the witness box for around ten minutes, revealed that he regularly visited Gigg’s home with Archie Knox, his assistant at the time.

He continued: ‘Our main contact was Ryan’s mother (Lynne). She was very good about it all. Ryan was a quiet boy, he just sat there and listened to what his mother was saying.’

The Scottish boss said: ‘He was being compared to George Best. There was a lot of press and media attention on him. I saw him every day, I was his manager. The boy was great, he was no problem.’

Giggs was offered his first professional contract on his 17th birthday and signed it two days later on December 1, 1990.

It fulfilled Ferguson’s promise to Giggs at 14 that he would be given a professional within three years.

He earned £170 a week, that year, plus £300 for any game he played in. He was also given £40 a week ‘digs money’ for his landlady – in his case, his mother Lynne.

Additionally there were big bonuses for winning trophies: £10,000 for the League Cup, £20,000 for the FA Cup, £25,000 for the league title.

He later recalled: ‘The biggest players in the first United team I played in were on £3,000 to £4,000 a week. 

‘When Eric Cantona signed a contract of £10,000 a week it felt like an amazing amount of money.’

Those sums pale in comparison to the mind-boggling salaries players would be earning by the time Giggs hung up his boots, 24 years late.

Cristiano Ronaldo, for example, United’s current top earner, is on £480,000 a week, quite apart from promotional and advertising contracts.

Giggs became a first-team regular early in the 1991-92 season, but also played in the youth system and captained the team – known as the so-called ‘Fergie’s Fledglings’ 

Comprising of Giggs himself, David Beckham, Nicky Butt, Phil and Gary Neville and Paul Scholes, the team claimed victory in the 1992 FA Youth Cup, earning them their better-known sobriquet, ‘The Class of ’92’.

But while footballer writers waxed lyrical about the young midfielder, Giggs later spoke about the struggles of his meteoric rise to fam.

‘Nothing could have prepared me for the limelight I was thrust into at 17,’ he once said. 

‘I was in newspapers, magazines, on TV, and everyone in the street knew me. It was strange for me and I dealt with it by trying not to create a fuss. 

‘I have just tried to keep it that way ever since…football is my bread and butter. It has to, and always will, come first.’ 

Over his remarkable 24-year career at the same club, Giggs left his mark on footballing history.

He scored in all but one of his league seasons – the last – winning the most English league titles and holding the record for the most appearances for Manchester United of 963 games.

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson with player Ryan Giggs, holding eight bottles of champagne representing their eight Premiership title wins with Manchester United

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson with player Ryan Giggs, holding eight bottles of champagne representing their eight Premiership title wins with Manchester United

Over his remarkable 24-year career at the same club, Giggs left his mark on footballing history. Pictured: Giggs with United manager Sir Alex Ferguson during their game against Juventus in 2003

Over his remarkable 24-year career at the same club, Giggs left his mark on footballing history. Pictured: Giggs with United manager Sir Alex Ferguson during their game against Juventus in 2003

Giggs (pictured here with Prince Charles and Sir Alex Ferguson) scored in all but one of his league seasons - the last - winning the most English league titles and holding the record for the most appearances for Manchester United of 963 games

Giggs (pictured here with Prince Charles and Sir Alex Ferguson) scored in all but one of his league seasons – the last – winning the most English league titles and holding the record for the most appearances for Manchester United of 963 games

Manchester's Ryan Giggs and Manager Alex Ferguson talk to the media ahead of the teams UEFA Champions League Quarter Final game against FC Roma in 2007

Manchester’s Ryan Giggs and Manager Alex Ferguson talk to the media ahead of the teams UEFA Champions League Quarter Final game against FC Roma in 2007

He scored 171 goals and also set the record of 162 assists in the Premier League and 34 trophies won, including two Champions League titles.

Giggs also played 64 times for Wales, scoring 12 goals. Many have suggested Giggs could have been a star for England – even the missing piece of the puzzle for England’s so-called Golden Generation.

However, contrary to popular belief, Giggs never had the option of playing for England, as he was born in Cardiff to Welsh parents, and only moved to the Manchester area when he was seven.  He did represent England at school boy level, but was allowed to due to his location, rather than his nationality. 

Alongside his many goals and assists, there were many ‘wonder goals’ during Giggs’ career.

Ryan Giggs’ 24-year career in numbers  

League appearances – 632  

League goals – 109

League assists – 162* (currently a Premier League record)

Total appearances for Manchester United (including domestic cup and European competitions) – 963* (currently a club record)

Total goals for Manchester United (including domestic cup and European competitions) – 168

Appearances for Wales – 64

Goals for Wales – 12

Also made four appearances for Great Britain in the 2012 Olympic football team 

But the winner in extra time against Arsenal in the 1999 FA Cup Semi-Final replay, was the stuff of dreams for any football fan – except perhaps a ‘Gooner’.

He came on as a substitute, with the sides drawn at 1-1 and United down to 10 men after Roy Keane was sent off.

Giggs snatched up a lazy pass from Patrick Vieira, and headed for goal, first shrugging off Vieira himself, then slaloming through Lee Dixon, Martin Keown and Tony Adams before rocketing the ball into the roof of David Seaman’s net to send United to Wembley.

The Welshman lifted up his shirt, exposing his hairy torso, and circled it on his arm as he sprinted towards his teammates to celebrate.

Fergie memorably summed up Giggs’ mastery that night: ‘When Ryan runs at players he gives them twisted blood. They don’t want to be a defender any more.’

Although Sir Alex refused to allow Giggs to give interviews until he was 20, before long he was hosting his own TV show, Ryan Giggs’ Soccer Skills.

He featured on countless magazine covers, becoming a pin-up for young girls, again echoing the former United great from a different era, George Best.

As retirement finally beckoned at the incredible age of 40, Giggs began staking his money and name on various successful ventures.

He and teammate Gary Neville launched their business, GG Hospitality, and opened a football-themed restaurant named Café Football in Stratford, London, in 2013. The site closed in 2019.

The pair, alongside teammates Butt, Scholes and Gary’s brother, Phil, also opened Hotel Football, a sports themed hotel near to Old Trafford in 2015. 

The stars of the Class of ’92 also purchased Salford City F.C in 2014. Initially Giggs, Scholes, Butt, and the two Neville brothers launched the consultium with the help of Singaporean businessman Peter Lim.

They were later joined by Beckham, by the far the wealthiest of the Class of ’92, who purchased a 10 per cent stake from Lim.

Pictured: Salford City owners David Beckham, Gary Neville, Peter Lim, Nicky Butt and Ryan Giggs during the club's 2019 Vanarama National League Play Off Final win over AFC Fylde

Pictured: Salford City owners David Beckham, Gary Neville, Peter Lim, Nicky Butt and Ryan Giggs during the club’s 2019 Vanarama National League Play Off Final win over AFC Fylde

He and teammate Gary Neville launched their business, GG Hospitality, and opened a football-themed restaurant named Café Football in Stratford, London, in 2013. The site closed in 2019. The pair, alongside teammates Butt, Scholes and Gary's brother, Phil, also opened Hotel Football, a sports themed hotel near to Old Trafford in 2015

He and teammate Gary Neville launched their business, GG Hospitality, and opened a football-themed restaurant named Café Football in Stratford, London, in 2013. The site closed in 2019. The pair, alongside teammates Butt, Scholes and Gary’s brother, Phil, also opened Hotel Football, a sports themed hotel near to Old Trafford in 2015

Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs pose during a Cook Off at Westfield Stratford City in 2013 at the now closed Cafe Football in London

Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs pose during a Cook Off at Westfield Stratford City in 2013 at the now closed Cafe Football in London

Under their ownership, the Greater Manchester side, who at the time of their purchase were non-league, have reached League Two and continue to push for promotion.

But now, with Giggs’ reputation in tatters after the trial, exposing him as a self-confessed ‘liar and love cheat’, it remains to be seen whether the money men will still be so keen to back him in public.

In September 2017, along with former United teammates including Gary Neville, Giggs proposed a university in Greater Manchester, named University Academy 92, which would offer ‘broader courses than traditional degrees’ and attract students who ‘otherwise might not go on to higher education’.

It was launched two years later and offers courses in business, sports, media and digital.

Whether those running the University will still wish to have Giggs as a figurehead and mentor, after all that has come out in court, only time will tell. 

However, if they do, it will not the first time that Giggs has survived a public scandal. While Giggs has won plaudits on the pitch, he has lived a controversial life off of it.

He was at the centre of a so-called ‘Super Injunction’ storm in 2011 after a seven-month affair with the Welsh model and Big Brother star Imogen Thomas.

Giggs, who was married at the time of the secret relationship, obtained a gagging order to stop a tell-all interview with Giggs being made public – at the cost of least £150,000.

But after the Sun printed the story about Miss Thomas’s affair with an unnamed Premier League star, rumours started to spread and Giggs’s name began to fly around Twitter – at one point at the rate of 160 times a minute. 

Giggs’ legal team hit back in at the time an unprecedented action, ordering Twitter to reveal the identities of those who had broken the injunction.

A privacy row erupted, leading to a now infamous incident, in which then Lib Dem politician John Alexander Melvin Hemming, then MP for Birmingham Yardley, used Parliamentary Privilege to publicly reveal Giggs’ as the man at the centre of the row.

The incident had implications for UK privacy law, but it brought to the fore another more personal scandal for Giggs.

After hearing about Giggs’ affair with Imogen, Natasha Giggs, the wife of the footballer’s brother Rhodri, came forward to reveal she had engaged in an eight-year affair with the ex-United midfielder.

Giggs was at the centre of a so-called 'Super Injunction' storm in 2011 after a seven-month affair with the Welsh model and Big Brother star Imogen Thomas (pictured)

Giggs was at the centre of a so-called ‘Super Injunction’ storm in 2011 after a seven-month affair with the Welsh model and Big Brother star Imogen Thomas (pictured)

After hearing about Giggs' affair with Imogen, Natasha Giggs (pictured), the wife of the footballer's brother Rhodri, came forward to reveal she had engaged in an eight-year affair with the ex-United midfielder

Giggs ended his relationship with wife Stacey (pictured), with whom he had two children, only after his affair with Kate Greville was revealed

After hearing about Giggs’ affair with Imogen, Natasha Giggs (pictured left), the wife of the footballer’s brother Rhodri, came forward to reveal she had engaged in an eight-year affair with the ex-United midfielder. Giggs ended his relationship with wife Stacey (pictured right), with whom he had two children, only after his affair with Kate Greville was revealed

The pair had initially met in a nightclub, two months before Natasha began dating Rhodri in 2003.

But after they married, Natasha and Giggs had a prolonged affair, which finally ended in April 2011.

She told Closer magazine at the time: ‘The affair kept going because I was bored and it was so exciting. 

‘I’d have my mundane life at home with the cooking, washing and ironing, but to know that I had my own special relationship with this celebrity footballer adored by millions.

‘A lot of people wanted to be with him and having him to myself was a thrill.’

The affair had long-term implications for Giggs, whose family was split as a result of his relationship with Natasha.

Natasha originally left Rhodri but the two later unsuccessfully tried to reconcile, and they divorced in 2013. The pair had two children.

Giggs also ended his relationship with wife Stacey, with whom he had two children, only after his affair with Kate Greville was revealed.

In 2019, Rhodri revealed he hadn’t spoken to his brother for eight years, ever since his secret affair with Natasha was detailed.

In a conversation with Barnaby Slater on the Almost Famous podcast in 2019, Rhodri explained that he only found out about Ryan and Natasha’s eight-year affair on the day it was in the press.

‘I found out on the day the papers put it out,’ he explained. ‘Her mum came to my house at six in the morning.’

Both Ryan and Natasha attempted to reconcile with Rhodri, with Ryan telling him the affair didn’t mean anything and was ‘just sex’, but Rhodri insisted ‘it was not real, it was all fake’.

In 2019, Rhodri (pictured) revealed he hadn't spoken to his brother for eight years, ever since his secret affair with Natasha was detailed

In 2019, Rhodri (pictured) revealed he hadn’t spoken to his brother for eight years, ever since his secret affair with Natasha was detailed

Meanwhile, Giggs' father also criticised his son over the affair. Speaking on 2018, after Giggs had been given the Wales manager's job (pictured: Giggs in the dugout for Wales), Danny Wilson said he was 'ashamed' of him

Meanwhile, Giggs’ father also criticised his son over the affair. Speaking on 2018, after Giggs had been given the Wales manager’s job (pictured: Giggs in the dugout for Wales), Danny Wilson said he was ‘ashamed’ of him

‘Six months down the line he said he’s going to do this, do that and then nothing has happened… He expects me just to forget it and act like things are normal but no, I went to the papers and from that day they never spoke to me.’

In another podcast, last year, Rhodri also talked about his brother’s relationship with Sir Alex. He said: ‘He was protected, Alex Ferguson was like a father figure to him he was his substitute father and he was scared of him and never wanted to let him down.’

Meanwhile, Giggs’ father also criticised his son over the affair. Speaking on 2018, after Giggs had been given the Wales manager’s job, Danny Wilson said he was ‘ashamed’ of him.

He told the Sun: ‘ ‘I should be the proudest dad in the world, as happy as a lark by what he’s achieved – but I am ashamed of him. I can’t even bring myself to use his name – I refer to him as the ex-footballer.’

Giggs was on leave from his post in November 2020 amid the assault allegations by Ms Greville. He stepped down permanently in June this year, ahead of the trial.

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