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Ryan Giggs wins BBC Wales Sports Personality 2009

BBC CYMRU WALES SPORTS PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR 2009
Full award programme: Tuesday, 8 December, BBC ONE Wales, 2235-2335 GMT

Sir Alex Ferguson gives Ryan Giggs the BBC Cymru Wales Sports award

Wales and Manchester United football legend Ryan Giggs, 36, has been named the BBC Cymru Wales Sports Personality of the Year 2009.

Giggs was presented with the award by manager Sir Alex Ferguson, the mentor who signed the player as a teenager.

The award was announced by Wales' First Minister Rhodri Morgan following a public telephone vote.

Second place went to cyclist Geraint Thomas while Wales and Cardiff Blues rugby player Jamie Roberts was third.

Due to Giggs' commitment to a Manchester United Champions League game in Germany on Tuesday, he was handed the award on Sunday by Ferguson at Manchester United's Carrington training ground.

This is the second time Giggs has won the award, having last been awarded the trophy in 1996, and the evergreen Cardiff-born star has had another outstanding year.

Manchester United won the Barclays Premier League, the Carling Cup and were Uefa Champion League finalists, while Giggs himself won the Professional Footballers' Association Player of the Year Award and was nominated for European footballer of the year.

Ryan Giggs
Giggs has won the adoration of home fans and respect of rival supporters throughout the world during an outstanding career

The Player of the Year award came amid stiff opposition from team-mates Nemanja Vidic, Rio Ferdinand, Cristiano Ronaldo and Edwin van der Sar as well as Liverpool's Steven Gerrard.

The award had previously eluded the player, who went on to maintain his remarkable record of scoring in every one of the 19 Premier League seasons, including a fine hat-trick against Tottenham Hotspur in September to help him top 150 goals for his club.

Giggs remains a threat to defences and manager Sir Alex Ferguson has advised aspiring players to follow his protege's example of maintaining physical fitness and mental toughness.

606: DEBATE

Now in his 19th season with the club, he has won more team honours than any of his predecessors.

Among his many records and accolades, Giggs is the only Red Devil to have played in their 11 Premier League wins and the only player in the game to have won that number of titles.

Giggs' award was announced on BBC Wales Today with the awards evening held later at Cardiff City Stadium.

The ex-Welsh international continues to defy his years as he remains hugely influential for Manchester United.

Cardiff-born Giggs has outstripped Old Trafford legend Bobby Charlton's club appearance record of 758 and has now played more than 800 games for the club since making his debut as a 17-year-old in 1991.

One of the few signs of Giggs' age is that in the last season he has switched from winger to central midfield, but he has yet to find himself usurped by a younger player.

The former Welsh international's standing among his fellow professionals is also a huge mark of respect for his evergreen talents.

Cyclist Thomas claimed second place after recovering from a broken pelvis suffered in a fall in a time trial early in the year in Italy to make his mark in October.

At the World Cup in Manchester he won gold in the individual pursuit, having set the second-fastest time in history in qualifying, 4min, 18.418secs.

Third-placed Roberts starred for Wales during the Six Nations and was named British and Irish Lions player of the tour to South Africa.

Golfer Becky Brewerton, light-heavyweight boxer Nathan Cleverly and Welsh Women's rugby player Louise Rickard were the remaining contenders for the award.



see also
Ferguson hails 'incredible' Giggs
07 Dec 09 |  Wales
Profile: Becky Brewerton
30 Nov 09 |  Wales
Profile: Nathan Cleverly
30 Nov 09 |  Wales
Profile: Louise Rickard
30 Nov 09 |  Wales
Profile: Jamie Roberts
30 Nov 09 |  Wales
Profile: Geraint Thomas
30 Nov 09 |  Wales
Ferguson heaps praise on Giggs
30 Sep 09 |  Football
Giggs earns prestigious PFA award
26 Apr 09 |  Football
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales


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