Rhodri Giggs: I could have played for United

The list of top-flight footballing siblings is one that is as illustrious as it is diverse - from the Charltons and Nevilles, to the Laudrups and Boatengs. But, had it not been for a misspent youth, the name Giggs could have also found its way onto that list.

Having been recently appointed as the manager of semi-professional side Salford City, Rhodri Giggs, younger brother of Manchester United legend Ryan, has been speaking about his early years as a professional footballer, which started as a promising youngster at Torquay United.

Rhodri claims that there was a very real possibility that he could have played along side his older brother.

“I could have played for United, Ryan would sometimes say to people that I was better than him when I was younger. I don’t believe that, but I had skill. I just wasn’t mature enough,” he said in the Daily Mail.

Rhodri speaks very frankly of his early years in the professional game and his determination to learn from his mistakes. Whilst a talented youngster, Rhodri faced the issues that all young professional footballers face, but unfortunately was unable to forgo them.

This culminated in Rhodri serving nine months at Strangeways Prison following a nightclub attack in August 2001.

Following his release, he returned to football and in 2006 made 37 appearances for FC United of Manchester, the renegade club formed by Manchester United fans opposed to the Glazer family’s acquisition of the club in 2005.

Whilst fully aware that his attitude and application were not befitting of a top professional, he fully believes that management will be the making of him.

“The nags, not every day, but there’s enough of it to act as an incentive. I’ve got to work hard and believe in myself. I wish I had before," he said.

With Rhodri looking forward to the start of a new chapter in his life, he will always have the shadow of Ryan hanging over him, something that he feels somewhat aggrieved by.

“The contrast and comparisons made with me and Ryan have been unfair. Even a couple of weeks ago someone said to me as I was running past their dugout: 'You were never as good as your brother'.

“I turned around and said: 'Who is?' The lad just looked at me and said ‘Fair comment’.”

By Vithushan Ehantharajah