Ryan Giggs made 963 appearances for Manchester United, scored 168 goals and won countless trophies, but most importantly of all he provided supporters with a lifetime of memories.
Giggs is the most decorated player in the history of football and United’s record appearance maker, but when it comes to a player’s legacy, some goals, some games and some trophies are worth more than others.
Here are some of Giggs’ most memorable moments…
It may have actually come off Colin Hendry, but it went down as a Giggs goal on his full debut for the Red Devils, in his first appearance in a Manchester derby.
The 17-year-old would not go on to score too many more goals against City, but with 21 wins in 34 derbies, the blue half of Manchester became sick of the sight of the winger.
— TEAMtalk (@TEAMtalk) November 29, 2016
Giggs would go on to win 35 honours throughout his illustrious career, and it was fitting that he had a decisive say in his first trophy.
With United facing Nottingham Forest in the final of the 1992 League Cup, Giggs played the final pass for Brian McClair to score the only goal of the game.
By the end of the season, he was named the PFA Young Player of the Year for the first of two consecutive campaigns.
Our first League Cup final win came in 1992 against Nottingham Forest, courtesy of Brian McClair's cool finish. pic.twitter.com/ls8YyFUa69
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) February 24, 2017
Still only 18, Giggs gave a sign of what to expect more often with his goal against Tottenham in September 1992.
“Beautiful”, “class” and “exquisite” are all descriptions conjured up by Barry Davies in commentary.
Giggs would score 10 more times that term as United ended a 26-year wait for the title, the first of 13 Premier League winner’s medals the Welsh Wizard would collect.
A classy finish from Ryan Giggs…
— Football On This Day (@footieonthisday) September 19, 2018
By 1997 United were beginning to dominate domestically but had yet to translate that in Europe.
Without a win against an Italian side in 18 years and having been beaten twice by Juventus the previous season, Giggs’ wonder strike against Zidane and co gave a United team lacking Roy Keane a 3-2 victory over the Old Lady.
It would take a little longer before the Red Devils were lifting the Champions League trophy, but this was one of their first significant results in the competition.
— Classic Football Shirts (@classicshirts) October 1, 2018
“He’s cut Arsenal to ribbons!” proclaimed Martin Tyler, struggling to comprehend what he had just seen.
With Manchester United down to 10 men against fierce rivals Arsenal in the FA Cup semi-final, Giggs’ moment of pure inspiration proved the difference.
It would prove his most iconic act in the club’s most iconic season.
It's exactly one week until our latest @EmiratesFACup semi-final, so let's look back at a previous one…#OnThisDay in 1999, Ryan Giggs intercepted a pass in midfield and did this against Arsenal 👇 pic.twitter.com/LfWDgnhu6g
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) April 14, 2018
When Manchester United traveled to Juventus in 2003, the Bianconeri’s defence had not been breached for 722 minutes. That was until Giggs entered the fray as a substitute and proceeded to scored twice in a 3-0 victory.
Juventus legend Alessandro Del Piero would later go on to say: “I have cried twice in my life watching a football player. The first one was Maradona and the second was Ryan Giggs.”
— Emmanuel (@MisterrAdjei) October 18, 2018
Come 2008, Giggs’ status as a Manchester United legend was undisputed, but he could hardly have cemented it in greater style.
With United already having wrapped up the league title, Giggs came off the bench in the Champions League final to break Sir Bobby Charlton’s appearance record for the club, scoring a penalty in the shootout victory over Chelsea.
The Sports Personality of the Year award may have been met with some scorn, but 17 years on from being named Young Player of the Year, Giggs was finally named PFA Player of the Year for the first time, having reinvented himself as a central midfielder.
“It’s right up there, with personal accolades it’s the best to have as it’s voted by your fellow players,” he said. “I’ve been fortunate to win a lot of trophies, I won the young player award twice, but this is the big one.”
In one of the greatest Manchester derbies of all time, in which City had fought back on three separate occasions to level the score 3-3, it was always going to be Giggs who made the telling contribution while those around him lost their heads.
Michael Owen may have scored the dramatic winner, but it was Giggs’ unnerving instinct to find the killer pass which broke City, and made Fergie do a little dance.
— Premier League (@premierleague) September 20, 2019
If Fergie’s United sides were characterised by a never-say-die attitude – one which brought them countless late goals – then Giggs was the embodiment of that notion on the pitch.
And he marked his 900th appearance for the club in the perfect manner, scoring a injury-time winner at Norwich.
— Manchester is Red™️ (@MancIsRedMUFC) February 26, 2012