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GARY NEVILLES TESTIMONIAL

Giggs and Beckham take centre stage for Neville’s Manchester United bow

By Sportsmail Reporter

Last updated at 10:11 PM on 24th May 2011

Manchester United star Ryan Giggs escaped the media storm around his private life to pay tribute to long-time friend Gary Neville.

Press attention on Giggs, 37, intensified when he was named in Parliament as the married footballer involved in a controversial privacy case.

In the spotlight: Ryan Giggs was in the starting line-up as Old Trafford bade farewell to Gary NevilleIn the spotlight: Ryan Giggs was in the starting line-up as Old Trafford bade farewell to Gary Neville

Liberal Democrat MP John Hemming used parliamentary privilege to name him as the Premier League player who took out an injunction over his alleged relationship with 28-year-old reality TV star Imogen Thomas.

A tame question about the veteran Welshman during a press conference today ahead of Saturday’s Champions League final with Barcelona led to Sir Alex Ferguson threatening to ban a journalist from future briefings.

The class of 1992: Alongside current United players Giggs (second left) and Paul Scholes (right), Sir Alex Ferguson is reacquainted with Nicky Butt, David Beckham, Gary Neville and Phill NevilleThe class of 1992: Alongside current United players Giggs (second left) and Paul Scholes (right), Sir Alex Ferguson is reacquainted with Nicky Butt, David Beckham, Gary Neville and Phill Neville

Now police are investigating an incident that occurred near Giggs’ home in north Manchester, in which a number of vehicles belonging to members of the media were attacked.

Amid that maelstrom, Giggs probably found the football pitch a place of peace.

Once a Red: Gary Neville applauds the Old Trafford faithful Once a Red: Gary Neville applauds the Old Trafford faithful

It certainly appeared so as he drove the low cross into Wayne Rooney’s path that put United ahead in Neville’s testimonial against Juventus.

Rooney had been a surprise inclusion and the striker lasted half an hour before he was replaced, along with Giggs and Paul Scholes.

Enlarge   Trademark: David Beckham fires in a free-kick Trademark: David Beckham fires in a free-kick

The latter duo are members of the famed ‘Class of 92’, of which Neville was also an integral part.

With Nicky Butt, Phil Neville and David Beckham also reporting for duty, the sextet boasted an impressive 3,323 United appearances between them.

Surprise outing: Wayne Rooney latched on to Giggs's cross to open the scoringSurprise outing: Wayne Rooney latched on to Giggs’s cross to open the scoring

For Beckham in particular, it was an emotional night as he pulled on the famous red jersey for the first time since he left for Real Madrid in 2003.

The reception Beckham received was, if anything, more enthusiastic than the one afforded to Neville.

British bulldog: David Beckham tackles a young fan
British bulldog: David Beckham tackles a young fan

British bulldog: David Beckham tackles a mischievous young fan

At times, it was like the years being rolled back as the pair combined down the right flank, as they did so often for the Red Devils in their prime.

Michael Owen, who played so often alongside Neville and Beckham for England, nodded one of the full-back’s trademark crosses over.

It's just like the old times: Neville and Beckham combined on the right flank
Mazy run: Giggs

It’s just like the old times: Neville and Beckham combined on the right flank, while Giggs (right) embarks on a mazy run

Owen also blazed over from a Bebe cross not long after Simone Pepe had equalised for Juve.

Anderson and Rafael were introduced after the break, when Beckham curled a trademark free-kick narrowly over from the edge of the area.

Faithful servant: Neville made 602 appearances for the Red Devils sicne his debut in 1992Faithful servant: Neville made 602 appearances for the Red Devils sicne his debut in 1992

Neville’s night ended after 83 minutes, the former England full-back leaving the field to a well-deserved standing ovation.

By that time, Manuel Giandonato had curled home a superb winner for Juventus.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1390557/Ryan-Giggs-David-Beckham-centre-stage-Gary-Nevilles-Manchester-United-bow.html#ixzz1NJ5mzg3W

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Comments (12)

  • Via Facebook
    May 25, 2011 at 10:36 am Reply

    Sarfaraaz Nagdee
    Seein Del Poeskop aftr long

  • Via Facebook
    May 25, 2011 at 10:38 am Reply

    Naseem Mayet
    Ah comon u remember his goal that sunk the mancs at trafford,sidestepping shmeics

  • Via Facebook
    May 25, 2011 at 10:42 am Reply

    Mohammed Laher
    Lol @ sal… That’s just pure hatred.

  • Via Facebook
    May 25, 2011 at 10:49 am Reply

    Naseem Mayet
    Ya that’s blatant, cmon sal. F@#ken man was class.good to see becks as well. I thought juve would field davids, nedved, inzaghi and some legends

  • Via Facebook
    May 25, 2011 at 10:51 am Reply

    Aadil Lakhi
    Now that would have made it exciting. This Juventus team is shyte

  • Via Facebook
    May 25, 2011 at 10:52 am Reply

    Naseem Mayet
    I agree, pepe, barzagli,toni,troare are shit but this bebe is putrid. Long way for juve, miss the days

  • Via Facebook
    May 25, 2011 at 10:53 am Reply

    Azhar Moola
    ABD anyone but del.
    G neville wasn’t the most spectecular, but he did a great for club and country.

  • Via Facebook
    May 25, 2011 at 10:53 am Reply

    Aadil Lakhi
    True. I think he might be the worst player to have worn a united shirt. Eric Brazil and Russel Beardsmore must be so pleased. I wonder who scouted him. They should be traded to citeh

  • Via Facebook
    May 25, 2011 at 10:55 am Reply

    Naseem Mayet
    I admired him for england, no nonsence defender. Lol adil eric brazil blast from the past

  • Via Facebook
    May 25, 2011 at 10:55 am Reply

    Azhar Moola
    That’s harsh to say that he worst player to wear shirt. He was really solid. I modelled my own game on g neville:)

  • Via Facebook
    May 25, 2011 at 10:56 am Reply

    Aadil Lakhi
    No i mean bebe, not the neviller

  • Via Facebook
    May 25, 2011 at 10:56 am Reply

    Thirusha Pather
    ?@aadil “I have never watched Bebe,” admits Ferguson the first player signed based purely on scouting recommendation during his twenty-four years in charge at Old Trafford…press conference upon signing bebe typical the 1 time u let down your guard u hav 2 deal with the $h1t
    13 hours ago · LikeUnlike.

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