Manchester United legends Ryan Giggs, Gary Neville and Nicky Butt graced D’Marquee at Downtown East last Friday for an 'Up Close and Personal' event in support of the Singapore Olympic Foundation (SOF)-Peter Lim Scholarship.
The trio, who are part of the famous Fergie’s Fledglings, came down and spent about an hour of their time with over a thousand fans, who made their way down just to see their idols.
Some hardcore fans began queuing hours before the event started. Kiren Thanapalan, a member of the Official Manchester United Supporters Group in Singapore, was seen at the head of the line.
“We were one of the first few to arrive, and have been here close to two hours,” he said.
“I’ve met some of the [other] legends before, but to see Giggs and Neville in person is going to be awesome!”
The event, hosted by Kelly Latimer, was held in support of the SOF-Peter Lim Scholarship, which aims to promote sports amongst youth in Singapore and provide them with the financial assistance to pursue their dreams.
When the trio eventually walked in, the crowd went wild as they gave their heroes a boisterous reception.
Fans were happy to receive tons of United merchandise that were thrown freely into the crowd by the legends themselves.
The humble football superstars spoke about their football experiences while dishing out great advice to young aspiring footballers out there.
Welsh wizard Giggs, who has been playing at the top level for Manchester United for almost two decades, spoke about how to keep in shape and what it takes to be a professional.
“When you’re a professional footballer, you have to keep your fitness at its best," he advised.
"Most importantly, you’ve got to have a proper diet, lots of rest and drink plenty of water."
The 39-year-old also attributed his fitness to yoga, saying it has helped him to stay in the game for that long.
“I used to get a lot of hamstring injuries but yoga improves my flexibility and it requires discipline,” Giggs explained.
Giggs also cheekily revealed that his son plays the popular Fifa football console game without including him in the squad, and that "it hurts" not to even be on the bench!
Neville recalled his time skippering United as "an honour", mentioned that his favorite food was Chinese, and touched on his perceived hate of Scousers.
"I won't really use the word 'hate', but if you support United you don't like Liverpool and the opposite is true," he said.
All three emphasised the importance of having belief and passion.
"I was 11 when I went to United with Gary and I got a letter saying I was too small; it's important that you don't give up," Butt recalled.
"There's no point in playing a sport if you don't enjoy it, and I enjoyed every minute of it," Giggs added.
The footballers also recalled their most memorable experiences, with Neville and Butt both citing the legendary 1999 Treble as one of their fondest. Giggs went for the Champions League win in 2008 in Moscow instead.
Later, they proceeded to pick out random questions from the fans who had written them prior to entering the event.
The night concluded with more United memorabilia like autographed jerseys and footballs, distributed to the fans by the trio, who had the crowd spell-bound for the brief period they were present.
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