20. May 2014 10:55
Imagine a life without Ryan Giggs. It is impossible. He was just always there, like Coronation Street and the BBC.
Yesterday he announced his retirement from professional football. After 23 years playing for Manchester United and 34 trophies he decided he had enough. But it is not only the number of trophies and the longevity that makes this man special. It is his skill of reinvention.
The old & new Giggs
Just after his debut, the 17-year-old was dubbed as 'the new George Best'. Giggs was a beguiling mix of ruthlessness and grace. The way he ran, the way he passed, the way he moved was balletic but it was also wholly damaging to opponents. But those inelastic hamstrings panged once too often. No more could he play with the same wild abandon. Top speed wasn't an option as pragmatism crept in where once was unadulterated joy.
He needed to change his way of play and evolved in the elder statesman we know today. The new Giggs got wise; he went from not being able to cross properly to playing slide-rule passes at will. Travelling with the ball became less belting down the flank and more subtle feigns and shifts of balance. It helped him win everything more times than anyone ever.
Great guy to work with
As a person Giggs never changed. We have a long standing work relationship with him, and he is still the nice guy we met for the first time more than 15 years ago. He embarks upon a new and exciting chapter in his life, as assistant manager of Manchester United. And we, we will always remember his contribution to the game with a fantastic range of authentic autographed Giggs memorabilia.
2. March 2009 12:11
So Jose Mourinho reckons that Ryan Giggs is the greatest ever Premiership player, better than Thierry Henry, Alan Shearer and Eric Cantona.
The Special One should know a thing or two given the number of trophies he won with Chelsea and the way his Inter Milan side are running away with this year's Scuddeto.
But is he right? Here is Icons' top five Premiership players:
5. Steven Gerrard. They say that no player is bigger than the team. Have they not heard of Stevie G?
4. Frank Lampard. Still holds the record for an outfield player of 164 consecutive appearances. A phenomenon.
3. Eric Cantona. Turned Manchester United into the all-conquering force they are today.
2. Alan Shearer. 260 Premiership goals. Will anyone ever beat that?
1. Ryan Giggs. Well no-one ever won an argument with the Special One did they?
We've had our turn. Now it's yours...
15. January 2009 12:08
Ryan Giggs completed another signing session for us on Tuesday in Manchester. Ryan was in fine form after his man-of-the-match performance against Chelsea at the weekend. As always, Ryan had time to stop and chat to his fans before getting down to business.
Ryan, who has been working with icons since 1999, signed a number of shirts, boots and photos for us, which will be available for sale shortly. Look out for the blue away kit with the special badge commemorating the European Cup win over Benfica 40 years ago, when of course, United wore the same colours. Only 10 of these were signed, making this a very rare piece of sports memorabilia. Ring our order line now if you want to reserve one of these for yourself.
Ryan also signed a number of photos of his amazing solo goal in the 1999 FA Cup semi-final against Arsenal. This classic image always flies off the shelves – there's something about the way he waltzed through the Gunners' famous back five before revealing the hairiest chest in football that Utd fans love – and for the first time it is available in a larger size of 20 inches by 16 inches.
12. January 2009 12:07
Great to see Ryan Giggs putting in a man-of-the-match performance against Chelsea yesterday. The 35-year-old was making his 549th appearance for Manchester United and is set to reach the 550-mark if he plays against Wigan on Wednesday.
Ryan has agreed to meet us for another signing session tomorrow, where as well as more memorabilia from the 2008 Champions League victory, he will be signing some rare blue kits with badges commemorating the 40th anniversary of United's first European Cup win over Benfica. Only ten will be signed, so be quick off the mark to get yourself a genuinely rare item of memorabilia.
Sir Alex Ferguson was effusive in his praise for Ryan after the 3-0 victory. He told MUTV: "Ryan was fantastic. I kept him particularly for this game, I rested him. I told him two weeks ago he and Darren Fletcher would play against Chelsea.
"I thought this game was made for them, given Ryan's ability to hold the ball and beat a man in midfield with that left foot. Ballack couldn't live with him really. It could have been a mistake – it's very easy to make a mistake when you've got a squad of 23 players. Genuine mistakes of course because you want to pick a team that wins and the supporters understand that. But today it worked and I'm glad it did."
1. January 2009 12:05
Christmas is over and icons hope that Santa brought you everything you asked for. If like us, however, you got soap on a rope and slippers again you'll be delighted to know our January sale is now in full swing. There are some great bargains to be had, including Ryan Giggs and Henrik Larsson prints for £39.99. Pele Brazil shirts are down £50 to £149.99 and all signed Pele prints are available for under £100.