Sir Alex Ferguson today told a court how he would make an example out of Ryan Giggs in the Manchester United dressing room, but insisted he never saw him get ‘angry or aggressive’.
The legendary ex-football boss, 80, who personally helped convince a teenage Giggs to join the football club, and who managed him throughout the vast majority of his career, said he would give the Welsh midfielder the ‘sharp end of my tongue’ when he was upset at his team’s performance.
But the tough-talking Scottish manager insisted ‘I knew he could take it’. Speaking from the witness box in Giggs’ domestic assault trial, also praised his former player’s temperament as ‘wonderful’.
Sir Alex appeared as a character witness for Giggs, who is accused of ‘headbutting’ his ex-girlfriend Kate Greville during a row at his £1.7million mansion in Worsley, Greater Manchester, in November 2020.
The former Wales midfielder is also accused of assaulting Ms Greville’s sister Emma during the same row and using coercive and controlling behaviour. He denies the allegations and is on trial.
Today, Sir Alex, who appeared as a character witness for Giggs, described him as having a ‘fantastic, wonderful temperament’ who never got ‘angry or aggressive’ despite playing top level football under him.
He told the court that he had known him since the age of 13 and found him to be one of the best-behaved players he has ever worked with, both on and off the pitch.
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.’
Sir Alex, who was wearing a grey suit, white shirt and purple tie 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.
Former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson (pictured) has today arrived in court to give evidence in Ryan Giggs’s domestic assault trial
The legendary ex-football boss (pictured arriving in court today), 80, who helped convince a teenage Giggs to join the football club, arrived at Manchester Crown Court this afternoon. He is giving evidence in his former star midfielder’s assault case
Giggs, 48, is accused of ‘headbutting’ his ex-girlfriend Kate Greville during a row at his £1.7million mansion in Worsley, Greater Manchester, in November 2020. The ex-United star is also accused of assaulting Ms Greville’s sister Emma during the same row and using coercive and controlling behaviour. He denies the allegations and is on trial
‘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.’
When asked to describe his temperament, Sir Alex replied: ‘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.’
Giggs’ barrister, Chris Daw QC, also asked whether Giggs was a player who had ‘a number of girlfriends and lady friends?’
To which Sir Alex answered: ‘Well at that stage (his teenage years), I don’t think there was. When he was older we did dinners at the end of the season he would bring a friend with him, yeah.’
Meanwhile, a statement from former Manchester United chief executive David Gill was read to the court.
He said he had known Giggs for ‘many years’ since he joined the club in 1997 when the footballer was already at Old Trafford.
Initially, when Mr Gill was chief finance director he would see Giggs in match environments and club functions, he said.
He added: ‘It was not until later in our relationship when I began to deal with Ryan more frequently when I became chief executive in 2003.
‘I began to deal with Ryan from a contractual perspective.’
Mr Gill said that towards the end of Giggs’ playing career he would be involved in discussions renewing his contract annually.
Mr Gill said he continued to see Giggs after he departed the club and retained a non-executive role.
He said: ‘To this day I still speak to him and see him occasionally on golf days.’
Mr Gill said he also crossed paths with Giggs when he was Wales manager at competition draws held by Uefa where he is an elected executive committee member.
He went on to state: ‘Ryan is a very likeable man, well-mannered, very professional.’
Mr Gill said Giggs took his job as a player and a coach ‘very seriously’.
He went on: ‘He is always very polite. I found him to be honest. You can trust what he said.
‘I always found him to be a measured person … with a pleasant sense of humour.
‘I know Ryan to be hard-working, dedicated and always willing to help and improve.’
He said Giggs was used to being in the public eye since he was a ‘young lad’ and added someone cannot stay at the top of a profession ‘without controlling your emotions’.
This morning, the trial heard how loved-up Ryan Giggs messaged his ex-girlfriend: ‘You are the jam in my doughnut, the truffle in my pasta and the salt in my tequila’.
In a series of toe-curling love notes, read out in court this morning, the former footballer compared ex-girlfriend Kate Greville to Fort Knox, ‘because it’s full of gold’.
The former Wales star also signed off one text to the PR executive referring to himself as ‘Giggsy’ – a nickname commonly used throughout his football career – and told her ‘reiterate is a big word for this time of day’ during an early morning texting session, the court heard.
In another cringeworthy exchange, Giggs told Ms Greville he had made ‘scrambled eggs a la chef Giggsy’ for breakfast, and messaged his former flame saying: ‘I think you’re fandabidozi’.
Giggs also wrote an acrostic poem using the first letters of Ms Greville’s surname, including ‘Gorgeous’ for ‘G’, ‘Vivacious’ for ‘V’ and ‘Everything I’ve Ever Wanted’ for ‘E’.
Meanwhile, Ms Greville wrote her own explicit poetry to the ex-Premier League star, including one message which read: ‘I’m counting down the days, I’m thinking of all the ways. I’m going to make that gorgeous c*** of yours raise.’
Many of the gushing messages, read out over more than an hour and a half this morning, contained a number of kisses at the end.
Lawyers had initially read them out saying ‘kiss, kiss’ at the end of each text. But Judge Hilary Manley eventually intervened, saying: ‘Sorry to interrupt but we probably don’t need the kiss, kiss, kiss’.
The barristers, who are acting as Giggs and Ms Greville as they read out the exchanges, laughed and both agreed.
Judge Manley also intervened when one of the lawyers began reading out a message from Ms Greville to Giggs, which read: ‘I love, I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you.’
Judge Manley said: ‘I think ‘I love you repeated’ would do.’ She said: ‘We need to keep the gravity of this situation.’
The court heard how in February 2020, Giggs messaged Katie Harvey, who his then-partner was with.
Ms Harvey told Giggs that Ms Greville had broken her phone.
He thanked Ms Harvey for being so ‘kind’ to him, and said: ‘I know I can be a pest.’
She replied: ‘You are, but you love her.’
Yesterday, on day nine of the trial, lawyers read out a cringeworthy poem from Giggs to Ms Greville and shared messages in which he made grandiose proclamations of his love during the course of their rocky relationship.
In one particularly explicit poem, read out in court as part of the former footballer’s domestic assault trial, with Giggs’s 66-year-old mother Lynn present, the former Wales midfielder wrote to the PR executive: ‘My darling Kate, Unequivocally our love was fate.
‘I fell in love with you at first sight. I remember cos I was as high as a kite.
‘Those beautiful eyes made me shiver. I’m not going to lie I think of you I dream of you. Can’t help thinking pulling you was my greatest ever coup.
‘That stomach, those abs, those pictures you send so I can keep tabs.
‘You make me feel funny down there. Especially when you’re there and you look up and stare.
‘I am beginning to think you are always right. That’s ok it will keep us tight. I’m gonna end by saying you are my love, my friend, my soul. And most of all you believe in me which makes me as hard as a totem pole.’
Manchester Crown Court heard the father of two sent the poem on August 31, 2017 – the day the coercive control is alleged to have started.
It was sent in response to a poem from Ms Greville in which she wrote: ‘You make my heart flutter because you are a nutter. Every day you do me proud not just because you are well endowed.’
The court also heard how, during their ‘toxic’ six-year on-and-off relationship, Giggs wrote several texts making strong declarations of love.
In one, the ex-football star, who made 632 appearances in England’s top division, wrote: ‘I love you to the next planet those clever f****** at Nasa finds. Plus all my Premier League appearances, which is a lot. Love you baby.’
Loved-up Ryan Giggs messaged his ex-girlfriend: ‘You are the jam in my doughnut, the truffle in my pasta and the salt in my tequila,’ his domestic assault trial today heard
Giggs also wrote an acrostic poem using the first letters of Ms Greville’s surname, including ‘Gorgeous’ for ‘G’, ‘Vivacious’ for ‘V’ and ‘Everything I’ve Ever Wanted’ for ‘E’
The ex-Premier League star (centre) is accused of assaulting Ms Greville – who claims Giggs ‘deliberately’ headbutted her – during the incident at his home in November 2020. Pictured: Giggs arriving at Manchester Crown Court this morning
Ex-Manchester United star Ryan Giggs (pictured right arriving at Manchester Crown Court on Friday morning) wrote a series of cringeworthy poems to his ex-girlfriend Kate Greville (pictured left) and shared messages in which he made grandiose proclamations of his love during the course of their rocky relationship.
Kate Greville wrote explicit poems to Ryan Giggs, including one in which she wrote: ‘I’m counting down the daze ‘I’m thinking of all the ways ‘I’m going to make that gorgeous c*** of yours raise.’
Taking to the witness box for the first time in his domestic assault trial, the ex-footballer (pictured here in a court sketch), 48, admitted to being ‘a flirt by nature’ who has ‘never’ been faithful to his ex or any of his former girlfriends
In a series of more toned-down texts, Giggs also described Ms Greville as ‘my sunshine, my wish, my soulmate, my strength, my one and only’.
In the WhatsApp messages, Miss Greville referred to the former Wales manager as ‘Giggsy-baby’, while Giggs called her ‘baby cakes’.
Giggs – who earlier this week told the jury he and his girlfriend had even rowed about how to stack their dishwasher – added: ‘You’re a painting, supermodel, thoroughbred, an absolute dream…’
In one message, in June 2017, Miss Greville talked about the couple getting old together and ‘still laughing’ when they were 70.
In another, he claimed the ‘best place in the world’ was not ‘in Bali or the Caribbean’ or ‘playing golf with my mates’ but in bed, with Miss Greville snuggled in the ‘little crevice under my chin… legs interlinked’. She replied: ‘That’s my favourite place in the world.’
It comes after the court yesterday heard Giggs attempted to make himself out as the ‘victim’ after allegedly attacking his former girlfriend and her sister during a row at his £1.7million mansion.
The ex-Premier League star is accused of assaulting Ms Greville – who claims Giggs ‘deliberately’ headbutted her – during the incident at his home in November 2020.
He is also accused of assaulting Ms Greville’s sister Emma – who was dog sitting on the night of the incident and who claims Giggs elbowed her after she tried to intervene.
Giggs denies the charges, as well as using controlling and coercive behaviour towards Kate during their ‘toxic’ six-year on-and-off relationship, and is currently on trial at Manchester Crown Court.
The ex-footballer this morning faced a second day of cross-examination from prosecutor Peter Wright QC, who probed Giggs on his statement to the police the day after his alleged assault on ex, Ms Greville.
Giggs laughed when asked by his barrister Chris Daw QC if he knew what the word impetuous meant.
Giggs replied: ‘I’m not too sure.’ He had been asked if he was impetuous by prosecutor Peter Wright QC the previous day.
One poem in which Giggs told Ms Greville: ‘You are my soul… you makes me as hard as a totem pole,’ was read out before the court
Mr Wright accused Giggs of lying to police over allegations he ‘flipped’ and headbutted his ex-girlfriend during an argument at his £1.7million home in Worsley, Manchester, on November 1, 2020, when she learned he had been cheating with at least eight women.
The prosecutor asked Giggs about discrepancies between a prepared statement he gave to police the day after his arrest and live evidence heard in a 999 call made by Miss Greville’s sister, Emma, and on bodycam footage captured by officers sent to investigate the alleged assault.
Mr Wright questioned why, when Emma, 26, called police, and Giggs heard her telling the operator about the alleged headbutt, he did not say it was ‘rubbish’ or an ‘accident’ as he later claimed. ‘I don’t know,’ Giggs said.
Mr Wright yesterday asked the former Wales midfielder why he had put in his statement to police that: ‘On both occasions I was attacked.’ Speaking from the witness box, Giggs responded: ‘I don’t know’.
Mr Wright said: ‘It is because you had at this stage lost all sense of reason and you were seeking to turn the narrative of what happened into one in which you were the victim?’ Giggs said: ‘No.’
Giggs also denied using ’emotional blackmail’ to stop Ms Greville’s sister, Emma, from calling the police on the night of the alleged assault, in November 2020.
During a 999 call made by Emma to the police, played to the jury earlier in the trial, she can be heard saying: ‘I don’t care if your daughter is 17′. Giggs, under questioning from Mr Wright, denied using his daughter, Libby, as ’emotional blackmail’.
But he accepted he was attempting to stop Emma from calling the police. Mr Wright added: ‘You were seeking to use your daughter as the lever, weren’t you?’ ‘Yes,’ Giggs said again.
Yesterday, Giggs denied headbutting his ex-partner after ‘completely losing his self-control’ during an argument.
Mr Wright asked Giggs about the prepared statement he gave to police the day after the incident, in which he said a ‘scuffle’ broke out over Ms Greville’s phone, and that his head clashed with hers accidentally.
The prosecutor said: ‘The reality is you headbutted her, didn’t you?’ Giggs said: ‘No.’ Mr Wright said: ‘Because in this dispute with her, you had, by that stage, completely lost your self control.’ Giggs repeated: ‘No.’
He also denied threatening to headbutt Ms Greville’s sister Emma.
Giggs was also asked about the line in his statement: ‘The last thing I would ever want to do is harm her (Ms Greville) emotionally or physically.’ Asked by Mr Wright if that was true, Giggs said: ‘Yes.’
Mr Wright said: ‘Or is it in fact that these are the two things you did intend so far as this woman is concerned?’ Giggs replied: ‘No.’
Ms Greville (pictured) previously told the court she had found evidence on an iPad that Giggs had engaged in ‘full-on’ relationships with eight other women during their six-year on and off relationship, and initially told police at the scene the number was as high as 12
He agreed with Mr Wright that after the ‘scuffle’ he had been ‘chastising’ Emma Greville for calling the police. Mr Wright said: ‘You were blaming her for what had happened, weren’t you?’ Giggs replied: ‘Yes.’
Mr Wright asked: ‘Why were you blaming Emma?’ Giggs said: ‘I don’t know.’
Mr Wright also asked Giggs if he heard Emma Greville say to the 999 call operator: ‘He said he is going to headbutt me’.
Mr Wright asked: ‘Did you hear that allegation by her?’ Giggs said: ‘I’m not too sure.’
Mr Wright reminded Giggs he could be heard saying ‘thanks’ in the background during the emergency call.
Mr Wright asked: ‘Why were you saying that?’ Giggs told the court: ‘I don’t know.’
Mr Wright said: ‘You were certainly not saying it to be grateful, were you?’ ‘No,’ said Giggs.
Mr Wright said: ‘It was said sarcastically, wasn’t it?’ Giggs said: ‘I don’t know.’
Mr Wright said: ‘What you were doing was blaming her?’ ‘No,’ replied Giggs.
It comes after Giggs earlier this week broke down in court as he described staying in a police cell on the night of his arrest for allegedly assaulting his ex-girlfriend as ‘the worst experience of my life’.
The former footballer said he was ‘so scared’ after being taken to Pendleton police station for allegedly headbutting Ms Greville during the row at his £1.7million mansion. He added that he got ‘hardly any’ sleep that night and spoke to a solicitor for the first time the next day.
Giggs also told the court that he believed PR executive Ms Greville was trying to leave his home with their cocker spaniel puppy ‘Mac’ on the night of the alleged assault.
He told jurors that during the row both he and Ms Greville fell to the floor after ‘slipping on shopping bags’ as he attempted to grab his phone from her.
Giggs claimed she kicked him ‘six or seven times’ in the head and that, after getting up, they engaged in a ‘tug-of-war’ in which they ‘clashed heads’.
Earlier this week Giggs admitted in court to being a ‘love cheat’ who can ‘never’ resist an attractive woman as he admitted to cheating on his first wife with Ms Greville following his ‘very public’ affair with his sister-in-law.
While in the witness box, the ex-footballer admitted to being ‘a flirt by nature’ who has ‘never’ been faithful to any of his former girlfriends.
In a candid summary of his love life, the ex-Premier League star admitted that he is ‘never’ able to resist an attractive woman – regardless of whether or not he is in a relationship.
He also told jurors that he had been unfaithful to his ex-wife, Stacey Giggs during a ‘very public affair’ – referencing his eight-year fling with his sister-in-law that saw her fall pregnant – and a later entanglement with now ex-girlfriend Ms Greville, an affair he admitted allowed him to ‘have his cake and eat it’.
However he strongly denied ever attacking Ms Greville, who has accused him of ‘headbutting’ her during a row at his £1.7million mansion. When asked if he had ever had ever assaulted a woman, Giggs replied: ‘No’.
The court also heard how Giggs admitted to sending ‘flirtatious’ messages to another woman during his relationship with Ms Greville.
The ex-Premier League star said his former partner went through his phone and found the messages before sending them to her phone and then confronting him with them.
Giggs also told the court that Ms Greville once showed him a picture of a dress he bought for a girl she had previously accused him of ‘being with’.
And while he accepted that Ms Greville had been correct in alleging he had been flirting with some women, he also told the court that there were occasions where she had ‘incorrectly’ accused him.
In cross examination by prosecutor Mr Wright, Giggs accepted he was a ‘man with many faults and flaws’.
Meanwhile, jury members were also told by Giggs how he and Ms Greville made explicit videos together and had a ‘healthy sex life’ which sometimes became ‘rough’.
He said he and Ms Greville recorded X-rated videos during their relationship. When asked what he did with the videos when he and Ms Greville were going through an off period, Giggs told the court that he deleted them from his phone.
The former Wales winger also said that when he and Ms Greville would rekindle their romance that she would then send them to him again.
Kate Greville and her sister, Emma. Giggs denies assaulting and using controlling and coercive behaviour against Kate (left) and Emma (pictured right)
Last week the court heard accusations from Ms Greville (pictured) that Giggs was having ‘full-on’ affairs with eight other women during their ‘toxic’ six-year on-off relationship
Last week the court heard accusations from Ms Greville that Giggs was having ‘full-on’ affairs with eight other women during their ‘toxic’ six-year on-off relationship.
The PR executive made the discovery after accessing the football star’s iPad having ‘made it my mission to find out the truth’ about his other lovers, she told police.
She said how, during what she called a ‘cycle of abuse’, Giggs ‘dragged’ her out of the bedroom of a five-star hotel – leaving her naked in the corridor – after she accused him of ‘manically’ flirting with other women during a night out.
He then threw a bag containing her laptop at her head, giving her a ‘massive lump’, Manchester Crown Court heard.
When she attempted to leave him over his alleged flings and ‘controlling’ behaviour, Giggs would ‘bombard’ her with up to 50 messages an hour and threatened to ruin her career, she claimed.
Eventually she got into his iPad as she ‘needed to know the truth’ – and the ‘reality’ of his cheating was ‘way worse than I could imagine’, she said.
Giggs stood down in June as manager of the Wales national team following his arrest.
The court heard that Ms Greville was employed by PR firm Tangerine for part of the alleged period of controlling behaviour and also by Giggs’ own company, GG Hospitality.
Giggs’ legal counsel, Chris Daw QC, said his client encouraged her career ambitions and went on to introduce most of her clients when she set up her business herself and earned a six-figure salary.
He said Ms Greville was ‘always completely financially independent’ and was free to travel and see her friends.
Giggs stood down in June as manager of the Wales national team following a period of leave since November 2020.
During his time at Old Trafford, Manchester United won 13 Premier League titles, two Champions League trophies, four FA Cups and three League Cups.
He won 64 caps for Wales and is co-owner of League Two side Salford City.
Giggs met Ms Greville in 2013 after she helped promote his Hotel Football venue, launched with ex-United teammate Gary Neville.
He divorced his wife Stacey in December 2017. Giggs found love again with lingerie model, Zara Charles, 33, who has ‘supported’ him through the charges.The trial continues.