Our Founder & Managing Director Adie Mike talks about his times as a former team mate of the Manchester United legend, Ryan Giggs.

 

Meadow Lane was stunned into silence.

“Ryan shouted urgently for the ball from the edge of our penalty area,” recalls goalkeeper Richard Bibby.

“We were playing for Greater Manchester Boys against Nottinghamshire. Two thousand people came to see the game at Notts County’s ground. I threw the ball, Ryan controlled it, then ran the length of the pitch, taking players on, before drilling a shot past their keeper and into the top corner.

“His teammates were shocked, the other team were shocked and the crowd was shocked. It was the best goal I’d ever seen.”

Bibby was a talented goalkeeper for Victoria Boys in Stretford, Manchester. Good enough to be selected for Trafford Boys, Manchester Boys (with Ryan) and be offered a two-year contract with Manchester City. This writer played in the same team as Bibby as a young teenager.

We played against Ryan Giggs, or Wilson as he was known then, several times. We were usually on the winning side.

I was a poor player in a strong team and was substituted every time I was asked to mark Ryan he was so fast that I could not get near him.

I did my best, but it was an unedifying experience seeing my father wince as the winger repeatedly ran past me and at me, before crossing a ball in.

Bibby was different. One of the four standout players in the league alongside Wilson, Adie Mike and Simon Davies, he was a solid goalkeeper whose progress would only be hindered by height.

He realised that may be an issue when he lined up for City in a testimonial for club legend Ken Barnes at Maine Road.

“Peter Schmeichel was in net for United and I looked up in the tunnel and thought, ‘he’s massive,’” recalls Bibby, who was 5ft 9ins.

Bibby first played against Giggs as a 10 year old.

“He was very, very fast,” he recalls. “Then we were both selected for Manchester and became teammates. He was our best player, he knew it and we knew it, but there was never any attitude with him.

“I never saw him criticise another player, nor look down at one – and that despite other players looking up to him.”

Bibby was devastated when City released him.

“It was hard to get such a knock at 18,” he says, but, along with his parents who went onto provide lodgings for young City players, wrote to all 92 league clubs asking for a trial.

“I got 10 responses, eight of which said ‘thanks but no thanks’ he recalls. “I had trials with Bury and Stockport County, but no more.”

Then Bradford City approached him and offered him a year’s contract, but when he air kicked a pass back from defender Dean Richards during a reserve game which led to a goal, Bibby realised that a life as a professional footballer was not to be.

He moved into business and now runs a taxi company with 110 cars in Manchester.

Simon Davies, then a 13-year-old star with Allostock, a village team from the nearby county of Cheshire who found themselves playing hardened young Manchester sides, did make it.

Signed to Manchester United as a schoolboy, he was part of the famous class of ’92 and progressed to the first team where he played 13 times, before a career in the lower leagues.

He is now the assistant manager of Manchester City’s reserve team.

Adie Mike was the final junior star of the league. A Manchester City fan raised in the Moss Side area close to City’s old stadium but schooled in Old Trafford close to United, he first played against Giggs aged nine, with Mike representing Flixton Juniors.

“Ryan was always the player we’d try to keep quiet,” he recalls. “But that was impossible, he was so fast and skilful.

http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/andy-mitten-ryan-giggs-revered-6354185

http://www.thenational.ae/sport/football/ryan-giggs-a-credit-to-manchester-and-his-club

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