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Sunday 23 June 2013

How Ryan Giggs almost signed for Man City

Former City scout tells the story of how he discovered the Premier League legend

Ryan Giggs is one of the most highly revered and respected players to have graced the Barclays Premier League, playing and scoring in every campaign since the competition began in 1992 and becoming the most decorated player in the English game.

He is one of the shining lights in Manchester United's success over that time, playing an integral role in Sir Alex Ferguson's teams over the last two decades and winning an incredible 13 League titles as well as two UEFA Champions League crowns and four FA Cups.

But the history of both Manchester clubs could have been so different if the Welsh winger had in fact signed for the blue half of the city rather than the red.

"He was like a gazelle going up the line"
Dennis Schofield on Ryan Giggs

That was a real possibility after Giggs' talent was spotted by Dennis Schofield, a milkman and founder of the Deans Youth and Ladies Football Club, who was also a part-time Manchester City scout.

"This lad on the left wing, right away you could tell he had something, he was brilliant," said Schofield. "He had the touches of a professional so I signed him on and we played him at the match at the weekend and believe me he was like a gazelle going up the line."

Schofield recommended Giggs to Manchester City but Manchester United were also aware of Giggs’ talent and it was Sir Alex Ferguson who won the race to land the Welsh youngster, with the manager and chief scout Joe Brown visiting his house on the morning of his 14th birthday to complete the signing.

And while there were regrets about City missing out on such a talent, the 82-year-old Schofield, who still coaches at Deans, maintains that Giggs is the best player he has ever seen.

"I have thousands of junior football matches all over the place and I have not seen a lad yet who could match the Ryan Giggs era," he added.

To find out more about Dennis Schofield and his attempt to sign Ryan Giggs for Manchester City, watch the video above.  

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Key Points

  • Forrmer Man City scout Dennis Schofield says Ryan Giggs could have signed for the club
  • Schofield spotted Giggs playing when he was nine
  • Manchester United ended up signing the Welsh winger