Jonty Mark

By Jonty Mark

Football Editor

Giggs remembers watching Kaizer Chiefs with Madiba

Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs has reflected on the time he watched Manchester United take on Kaizer Chiefs alongside former state president Nelson Mandela.

Giggs first met Mandela in 1993, when United played Chiefs in the United bank International Soccer Festival at FNB Stadium.
“He hadn’t long been out of prison and it was an amazing moment for me and the whole team. I was being rested for the match we were playing, which was lucky, because just before the game was about to begin we had had an invitation to Nelson Mandela’s box,” Giggs told, on the 20th anniversary of Mandela’s famous speech at first ever Laureus Award ceremony. .
“I spent the whole game with Nelson Mandela: Man United vs. Kaizer Chiefs. It was one of the most amazing moments of my career. An unbelievable experience. He was a genuine football fan, so he knew the majority of the United players. It happens quite a bit when you meet your heroes. You want to ask them questions, and then they’re firing questions at you!”
Giggs was also in the audience 20 years ago in Monaco when Mandela said: “Sport has the power to change the world, it has the It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else (can).”
“The speech was monumental. He spoke in a soft manner, but his words were louder than anyone I’d ever heard before. He had a way of communicating to everyone. It was an amazing thing to be part of, because of course Laureus was just starting out then,” added Giggs.
“There were heroes of mine in the audience that I grew up watching, Ed Moses, Daley Thompson, Michael Johnson, and Sylvester Stallone was among the many Hollywood names. They were all watching and listening to what Nelson Mandela was saying.”

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