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Ryan Giggs On Being Made To Feel 'Different' Because Of His Race

Ryan Giggs On Being Made To Feel 'Different' Because Of His Race

Ryan Giggs has opened up on how he was made to feel "different" as a child because of his mixed-race heritage.

The Manchester United legend and current Wales manager also said he was "immensely proud" of his background; with his father, ex-rugby player Danny Wilson, being black, and his mother, Lynne Giggs, being white.

Speaking on ITV Wales programme 'Can I Be Welsh And Black?', which explores the significance of ethnicity in Wales, the 46-year-old told Richard Parks that he noticed a change after he moved from Wales to England as a child. The move came about when his father signed for rugby league club Swinton and the family left Cardiff.

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Asked about the first time he was made to feel "different" because of his race, Giggs said (via Sky Sports): "I didn't experience anything in Cardiff. I was seven [years old], so I can't remember a lot before that. It wasn't until I moved to Manchester.

"Where I lived, my dad was very well known, because he was such a good player. He was probably the best player in the team in that town.

"As you can guess, to look at me, you wouldn't think my dad was black.

"But obviously everyone knowing that was my dad, and my dad quite clearly being black, that's really when I sort of experienced the first time. Which was a bit weird, because I'd never experienced that before."

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Ryan Giggs: front row, second from left
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Giggs goes on to say he would define himself as mixed race, but never felt the need to "shout about" the fact, saying: "It's just who I am." However Giggs added that he is "immensely proud" of being mixed race and Welsh.

Reflecting further on his childhood, he said: "It was weird because when I was in Manchester, there was no black people at my school. One or two. And obviously when I go back home I'm just surrounded by my dad's family.

"I loved it. There used to be a carnival every year down the docks, and I used to love going to that. It was just normal for me. It was great for me to have that diversity."

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Giggs also shared his support for the Black Lives Matter movement, describing it as an "important message". On taking a knee along with his Wales players before international games, he explained: "There was no hesitation with myself and with my staff and with the team."

He added that the crucial element was visibly showing anyone and everyone watching that Wales as a nation "didn't put up with discrimination or racism."

All imagery: PA Images

Topics: Football News, Football, Manchester United, Man utd, Ryan Giggs, Wales

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Alex Reid

Alex Reid is a writer at SPORTbible who’s previously strung words together for FourFourTwo, Boxing News, The Guardian and, yes, Cruise International (it’s about big ships, not Tom). Interests range from football and boxing to real sports like WWE and darts. He is not a cage fighter.