Tuesday 23 January 2018

Will Ryan Giggs’s long suffering wife stand by her man?

Ryan Giggs arrives with his wife Stacey for Manchester United 2011 Player of the Year awards last Wednesday. Photo: PA
Ryan Giggs arrives with his wife Stacey for Manchester United 2011 Player of the Year awards last Wednesday. Photo: PA
Stacey Giggs on the pitch at Old Trafford during the celebrations that followed Manchester United lifting the Premier League trophy on Sunday. Photo: Reuters
Ryan Giggs with his son Zach and daughter Libby on the pitch at Old Trafford. Photo: Reuters
Imogen Thomas, with whom Giggs is alleged to have had an affair. Photo: PA

Rosemary O’Grady and Steven Swinford

Will she or won’t she? Ryan Giggs loyal and patient wife Stacey Cooke is standing by her man .... but how much more can she take?

Giggs, well known for 'playing away' may have pushed his luck just once too often.

Together since 2001, serene Stacey, (32) the mother of Giggs two children Liberty (8) and Zach (4) knew what she was getting into when they eventually married

in 2007. Their relationship has been rocked by rumour since day one and Stacey actually kicked him out in 2005 after yet another tale of gadabout Giggs womanising.

But having put up with so much for so long will Stacey put this latest horror story behind her and stick with the man she loves?

Just last Sunday the Manchester United midfielder soaked up the applause of more than 70,000 fans, including his wife.

But fewer than 24 hours later, he was facing public disgrace.

The 37 year-old was identified on the floor of the Commons as the Premier League footballer who obtained a draconian gagging order to prevent his alleged extra-marital affair being made public.

Giggs has been fighting an increasingly desperate battle to keep the allegations secret.

He broke into the Manchester United first team 20 years ago. His skill and lightning pace established him as the “golden boy” of the Premier League.

The most decorated player in English football, he has enjoyed an extraordinarily long career. His reputation has been burnished by an apparently settled home life that contrasted with the behaviour of some of his team-mates.

However, in April this year he learnt that a newspaper was threatening to expose allegations of an extra-marital affair with Imogen Thomas, the reality TV star.

Giggs, who has been married for four years, went straight to the High Court, where Mr Justice Eady granted him an injunction.

Under the terms of the order, in which he was referred to only as CTB, the media were banned from revealing his name, age, nationality, playing position or address. Newspapers and broadcasters were even barred from disclosing the number of titles he had won. However, they could identify Miss Thomas and details of the affair, which allegedly took place in five-star hotels.

The injunction resulted in an explosion of publicity, intensified by Miss Thomas who protested that she had been “thrown to the lions”.

The fact that Giggs had taken out the injunction soon leaked on to the internet. On social networking websites such as Twitter and Facebook, which are outside the jurisdiction of British courts, the news became viral.

Under the terms of the injunction, the mainstream media were forced to censor themselves.

Earlier this month, a Twitter user named Giggs along with a host of other celebrities who had allegedly taken out injunctions.

More than 100,000 people subscribed to the account, forwarding the list to an estimated 2?million people.

Giggs’s identity was now an open secret on the internet but Mr Justice Eady refused to lift the order.

During an appeal a fortnight ago, he accused Miss Thomas of trying to blackmail Giggs for £100,000. She denied the accusation.

Giggs appears undeterred by the negative publicity. Last week, he instructed his solicitors to sue Twitter and “persons unknown” for revealing his identity.

The move proved to be his undoing. John Hemming, the back-bench Liberal Democrat MP who exposed the injunction, said: “When he showed he was going to go after relatively ordinary people for gossiping about him on a matter of trivia, I think he has to be held to account.”

For Ryan Giggs, that “matter of trivia” now threatens to overshadow the most glorious of careers.


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