Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs followed in the footsteps of former teammate Eric Cantona on Tuesday night by receiving the coveted Legend of Football award at the HMV Football Extravaganza in London.
The retired Wales international, who brought an end to his illustrious 23-year playing career at the end of last season to become Louis van Gaal’s assistant manager, was handed the accolade at the event, which raises money for charity Nordoff Robbins.
Giggs handed away from Robson
Giggs was handed the award by another United hero, Bryan Robson, who paid tribute to the Red Devils’ icon along with a number of his former teammates, including fellow Class of ’92 members Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt and Gary and Phil Neville.
Speaking to the audience, Giggs expressed his gratitude and pride to have received the award, which was handed to football legend Pele this time last year.
“It's an honour and privilege to be presented with the Legend of Football Award, particularly when I look back at the list of previous winners,” Giggs said. “I am looking forward to the event, celebrating with friends and colleagues and raising money for Nordoff Robbins, which is a really incredible cause.”
Ferguson records special message
Sir Alex Ferguson, who handed the Legend of Football trophy to Cantona four years ago, was not in attendance at the event in London on Tuesday. He did, however, record a special message for the United legend which was shown on the big screen.
Other Premier League managers did attend the event, including Sam Allardyce, Gus Poyet and Sean Dyche, who were all keen to show their appreciation to arguably the finest player in Premier League history.
Giggs: Man Utd legend
Giggs has made more appearances than anyone else in Premier League history - a staggering 632 - and has won more silverware than any other player since the league was established back in 1992.
The Welshman was briefly Manchester United manager at the end of last season, after David Moyes was sacked, but failed to land the job on a full-time basis. Despite that setback, Giggs agreed to become Van Gaal’s assistant, and the two men have struck up a good working relationship over the past few months.
Van Gaal even stated at an event last month that Giggs could be the man to succeed him at Old Trafford when he leaves the club - which could potentially be as early as 2017, when the veteran Dutch coach’s three-year contract expires.
But whatever happens in the future, Giggs will always be a legend in the eyes of the Manchester United supporters.