Ferguson appeared as a character witness for his former player
Former Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson praised the temperament of his former player Ryan Giggs at his trial for the alleged assault and controlling behavior of his ex-girlfriend and her sister.
Giving evidence on behalf of the ex-footballer who is accused of a range of offenses against Kate Greville, as well as one against her younger sister Emma, Ferguson stated that he never observed Giggs becoming angry or violent in the 24 years they worked together at Manchester United.
He claimed that Giggs had a “fantastic temperament” and that the Manchester United stalwart was treated “as the number one” within the club.
Giggs was one of Ferguson’s most dependable charges throughout his football career. The Welshman made 963 appearances in all competitions for Manchester United, and was central to some of Ferguson’s most enduring achievements including two Champions League titles since he broke into the first team at the age of just 17.
“They [Manchester United] had been going through a bad period when I arrived at the club in 1986,” said Ferguson.
“We had a big job to do. We saw Ryan as one step towards a better situation in regard to young players. The thing was, the press started comparing him with George Best. We had to face a lot of attention on the boy.
“When someone’s saying you’re the next George Best, it’s a big issue. But the boy was great, no problems.”
He added to the jury: “When I lost my temper, I would use Ryan as an example. He would get the sharp end of my tongue, but I knew he could take it. Other players would sit up and think, ‘If Ryan can take it, we can all take it.’
“He was the best example I’ve had at any club. Everyone looked at Ryan as the number one.”
The court also heard on Friday of a letter written to Giggs by Greville three days before his arrest for assault in which she accused him of being unfaithful in their relationship by sleeping with at least eight other women, in which she described him as a “compulsive liar and serial cheat.”
“I now know you say the same things you say to me to multiple women. I’m nothing special, I was just the one you didn’t let have a happy life.”
Earlier this week, Giggs admitted he considered himself a “love cheat” and said that he had been unfaithful in every relationship he had ever had, though he denied assault Greville.
Ferguson’s testimony on behalf of Giggs came after messages between he and Greville were read aloud in court.
“You are the jam in my doughnut, the truffle in my pasta, the salt in my tequila,” he wrote in one message.
In another sent on New Year’s Eve 2017, Giggs wrote a message in which he spelled out Greville’s name: “G for Gorgeous, R for Radiant, E for Extraordinary, V for Vivacious, I for Idolised (by me), L for Legs, L for Legs, E for Everything I have wanted.”
Giggs was also described as writing ‘poetry’ to his former partner which was widely derided as “cringeworthy” in the UK press, and in which he described Greville as making him “as hard as a totem pole.”
The trial continues.