Ryan Giggs: Wales manager 'immensely proud' of mixed race heritage

Ryan Giggs has led Wales to qualify for the Euro 2021 finals and top spot in their Nations League group
Ryan Giggs has led Wales to qualify for the Euro 2021 finals and top spot in their Nations League group

Wales manager Ryan Giggs says he is "immensely proud" to be Welsh and mixed race, although he had to suffer being made to feel "different" in his youth.

The 46-year-old's father, ex-rugby league player Danny Wilson, is black and his mother, Lynne Giggs, is white.

Cardiff-born Giggs has spoken before about the "shock" of facing racism for the first time when his family moved to Manchester when he was seven.

"I didn't experience anything in Cardiff," Giggs told ITV Wales.

"I was seven, 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."

'Great diversity'

Ryan Giggs' father Danny Wilson played rugby league for teams including Widnes and Swinton
Ryan Giggs' father Danny Wilson played rugby league for teams including Widnes and Swinton

Former winger Giggs would go on to become a Wales and Manchester United great on the football pitch, going on to manage his country.

A long-time supporter of Give Racism the Red Card, Giggs says it was an easy decision to take the knee along with his Welsh players at recent international games, to show the nation "didn't put up with discrimination or racism".

"There was no hesitation with myself and with my staff and with the team," he said.

Giggs, speaking on the programme Can I Be Welsh And Black?, said he would define himself as mixed race, but that he had never decided to "shout about" the fact, saying: "It's just who I am... [and] I think immensely proud, first of all."

He also spoke fondly about his memories of visiting his black cousins in Cardiff's docks area.

"It was weird because when I was in Manchester there were 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," Giggs said.

"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."

Top Stories