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Real escape with hope of progress

What the papers say
By ESPN Staff

Giggs to get freedom of city

Manchester United star Ryan Giggs will be honoured with the freedom of the city of Salford on Thursday.

The winger, who is the current PFA Player of the Year and BBC Sports Personality of the Year, will receive the honour at a ceremony in his adopted home town on Thursday afternoon.

Giggs, 36, will join an illustrious list of previous recipients, including Nelson Mandela, LS Lowry and fellow Welshman David Lloyd George.

Although born in Cardiff and starring many times for Wales, Giggs has for many years lived in the Worsley area of Salford after signing for United as a schoolboy.

Giggs switched to the club while training with Manchester City after a personal visit to his home by Sir Alex Ferguson on his 14th birthday.

He has now played more times for the club and won more honours than any other player in United's illustrious history.

He is also the only player to have scored in every Premier League season after debuting against Everton in March 1991.

A formal presentation of the award will take place as part of a civic ceremony at The Lowry arts centre on Salford Quays.

Councillor John Warmisham said it was "a privilege and a pleasure" to nominate Giggs.

"Ryan is a role model to young people and a proud ambassador of the city," Mr Warmisham said. "He is the ideal candidate for freedom of the city.

"He does tremendous work for Unicef in relation to children and other charities and has never forgotten his Salford roots."

Mayor of Salford Councillor Roger Lightup added: "I'm delighted we are able to honour one of our residents in this way.

"The freedom of the city recognises people who have made an exceptional contribution to our community and Ryan has certainly done this over a number of years."

Citizens made freemen gain no real privileges today but they do receive a scroll to mark their status and the pride the city has in them.

The medieval term "freeman" meant someone who was not the property of a feudal lord, but enjoyed privileges such as the right to earn money and own land.


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