Saturday, 29 November 2008

More birthday music: Ryan Giggs 35 today

Anyone who doesn't know the sheer exhilaration, instinctive grace, speed of both body and thought, and simple daredevil courage involved in football when played by people like Giggs has to... well, find it elsewhere I suppose.

Giggs is sharp and clear. There is nothing like seeing Giggs in one of his inspired moods running fast at a defence, the body tipped now one way, now another, the feet switching, hovering, then gone. It's the boy hunter's dream of elusion. There is a particular Giggs move, I think of it as the Giggs diagonal, when he starts from the left and moves like a bishop in chess to the centre, weaving as he goes. A number of examples of that on the film above. He is one of the greatest, most exciting footballers I have seen and he is still (just) playing.

Football can be lousy prose but if I wanted to know what poetry was, Ryan Giggs would be a good answer, a good non-bookish answer: a better answer than Cristiano Ronaldo. And as to dance? To art? Ryan Giggs, meet Fred Astaire.


OS. said...

Ryan Giggs would have a place in my All Time World 11. You must know how hard that has been for a Stokie to say that, George, so forgive my brevity.

The Plump said...

I was at Villa Park for that semi-final goal against Arsenal - what a moment. His dad wasn't a half bad player too (Danny Wilson - Swinton stand off - another hero).

Happy Birthday.

Poet in Residence said...

what balance...
...what a run
the boy's a

My Id's favourite footballer. One of mine too. My dream was that Mark Hughes would bring Giggs to Blackburn. Now look where we are. In the pits and Wigan above us.

George S said...

I wish I'd been there, Plump. Giggs is the total footballer of dreams. He can still do it for the odd twenty minutes, but what a joy he was!

And Stokie, spoken like a man.

Blackburn will be all right. Just don't lose any players over January, Gwilym.

michael said...


There was a rumour pre-season that he might come and play for us at Ninian Park this season.

Happy birthday, Ryan, cariad - one of the best players ever.

George S said...

Sort of Welsh, the lad. Played for England schoolboys, but hated his English dad for leaving his Welsh mum, so dropped the original name of Ryan Wilson and got himself dragoned.