Sir Alex Ferguson: what did former Man Utd manager tell court at Ryan Giggs trial?

The former footballer denies assaulting his ex-girlfriend Kate Greville

Sir Alex Ferguson has told a court he never saw Ryan Giggs lose his temper as he gave evidence defending his ex-player.

Giggs, 48, denies using controlling and coercive behaviour against Kate Greville, 38, between August 2017 and November 2020, assaulting her, causing actual bodily harm, and the common assault of her younger sister, Emma Greville, 26.

On Friday afternoon Sir Alex began his evidence.

Sir Alex Ferguson has arrived at court to as a defence witness in the trial of Ryan Giggs.Sir Alex Ferguson has arrived at court to as a defence witness in the trial of Ryan Giggs.
Sir Alex Ferguson has arrived at court to as a defence witness in the trial of Ryan Giggs.

What did Sir Alex say in court?

The former Manchester United manager, 80, spoke about his relationship at the club with Giggs.

He told Chris Daw QC, defending, that he was manager for Manchester United for 24 years and “first got to know” Giggs when the youngster was aged 13.

Sir Alex said Giggs was playing for a local club at the time and was training at Manchester City’s ground.

He said: “After that we visited his house to try to convince him to come to Manchester United. Myself and my assistant Archie Knox.”

Chris Daw QC asked: “Did you get to know him as a child during that period?”

Sir Alex replied: “His main contact was his mother. She was very good. Very accommodating. Ryan was a quiet boy. He just sat there listening to what was being said. His mum did all the talking.”

He said they spoke about the “ambitions” for the club.

Sir Alex said: “They had been going through a bad period when I arrived at the club in 1986. We had a big job to do. We saw Ryan as one step towards a better situation in regard to young players”

Sir Alex told the court that Giggs had a “fantastic temperament”, adding: “To have a career as long as he had in a difficult position, in terms of energy, he fulfilled everything we ever wished for.”

He said Giggs was “without doubt the best example we had at the club” and “everyone looked at Ryan Giggs as the number one”.

Asked by Giggs’ barrister Chris Daw QC if he had ever seen him “lose his temper or become aggressive”, Sir Alex replied: “No.”

What was said about messages between Giggs and Ms Greville?

Giggs told Ms Greville she was “the jam in my doughnut, the truffle in my pasta, the salt in my tequila”, a court has heard.

More messages between the former couple were read out at the trial of the ex-Manchester United footballerOn October 3 2017, Giggs messaged Ms Greville: “You are my pot of gold. Fort Knox.”

Asked to explain, he said: “Full of gold, it’s priceless.”

Ms Greville replied: “I was thinking it was hard to get into.”

Two days later Giggs wrote: “What you have done to move to another country, to what you have done at QComms is amazing. I love the way you challenge me, educate me, even pull my toes.”

Ms Greville replied: “I’m so in love with you. I’m the luckiest girl in the world, I have ‘The Greatest Love OF All’ in my head now and I can’t stop singing it.”

On December 10, Ms Greville wrote: “You know I think you are amazing. I f****** adore you baby.”

Giggs replied: “Fandabidoozie. You are the jam in my doughnut, the truffle in my pasta, the salt in my tequila.

Ms Greville said: “I keep thinking of us walking on the beach. You make my heart skip a beat. I even love massaging your feet.”

On New Year’s Eve 2017, Giggs sent a post which spelled out his partner’s surname: “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.”

What else was said?

The court heard a written statement from Giggs’ agent Rhodri Burgess.

He described Giggs as “calm, collected and peaceful, very friendly and very driven”.

Mr Burgess added: “Overall, he is a very relaxed character, always very generous and considerate, both with his time and money.”

He described a meeting when former Manchester United chief executive Ed Woodward told Giggs he “might not have the experience to become the next Manchester United manager – a job he wanted at the time”.

Mr Burgess said: “He reacted calmly and courteously despite being actively criticised regarding his professional experience.”

He added that Giggs had been “highly disappointed with the way he was spoken to”.

The statement said Mr Burgess had been for drinks with Giggs on between 30 and 50 occasions and that “at no point has he been angry or aggressive when in drink or sober”.

A statement from the former footballer’s childhood friend Stuart Grimshaw was also read, describing how Giggs’ life “became a fishbowl” when he started playing for the Manchester United first team.

Mr Grimshaw said: “Throughout the time I have known Ryan, despite fame, he has always wanted a quiet life and tried to keep a low profile.”

He added that Giggs “has never been a person to believe the hype about himself and become arrogant”.

“I believe if you were to ask any of the players on the Wales squad, he would probably be the first person they would turn to for advice,” the statement read.

Mr Grimshaw added that in 40 years he had “never known him (Giggs) to be violent in any way”.

The trial was adjourned until Monday morning.