Footie's Other Giggs

Daily Mail (London), September 22, 2010 | Go to article overview

Footie's Other Giggs


Byline: Charles Legge

QUESTION HOW many places in the football pyramid separate Manchester United's Ryan Giggs and his brother, Salford City's Rhodri Giggs?

RYAN GIGGS'S younger brother Rhodri is no mean footballer. He was born in Cardiff in 1977, but his family soon moved to Swinton in Greater Manchester after his father Danny Wilson, one-time Cardiff RFC fly-half, switched codes and went to play rugby league for Swinton Lions.

Giggs first played football for Salford Boys before joining Torquay as a YTS trainee, going under the name Rhodri Jones to avoid comparisons with his famous brother. His time as a trainee wasn't happy and he left halfway through the scheme.

Three years later, aged 19, he attempted to resurrect his footballing career, having trials in Scotland with Hearts and ending up playing with Livingston, though this lasted only six months. Rhodri returned to Manchester where he worked for a time as an estate agent.

In 1999, he was arrested, having been accused by the News Of the World of supplying cocaine to 'Fake Sheikh' Mazher Mahmood. He lost his job, but was found not guilty.

In 2001, Rhodri was imprisoned for assault for nine months, along with his friend Christopher Doyle, who received 15 months for an altercation between them and a group of Manchester City fans outside a nightclub.

Since then he has turned his life around. He is raising a son, Louis, and has become a stalwart of the lower football divisions, plying his trade at several clubs including Salford, Mossley, Bangor and Curzon Ashton before returning to Salford, operating as a flying right-winger. Salford City lie 17th in the Evo Stik League Division One North.

There are eight divisions separating the brothers, the Premier League (20 teams), Championship (24), Football League One (24), Football League Two (24), Football Conference (24), Conference North (21), Evostick Northern Premier league (22) and First North Division (23). With Manchester United third in the Premier League, there are 173 places separating the brothers' teams.

John Collins, Wolverhampton.

QUESTION AS a child, my mother regularly told me to hold my whisht, so I am interested to hear Brian Cowen use the same word at the recent Fianna Fail drink-in. What's its derivation?

WHEN the Taoiseach announced to his gathering 'Whisht up, this is a classic' before belting into song at the recent Fianna Fail Galway drink-in, he was using a word that has been in popular use in Ireland for 300 years.

The word - which is an onomatoepic command meaning be quiet -owes its origins to cards and the game of whist.

Whist is a classic trick-taking game that first became popular in England in the early 17th-century.

Originally called whisk, it was derived from the game of trump and bears a strong resemblance to a French card game called ecarte.

Whist was always played in silence and was soon used in common-day parlance to demand quiet.

While whisht can be used on its own, for even greater effect try 'ara be whisht' (shut up) and 'houl, or hold, your whist' (hold your mouth) and even as Cowen displayed to such effect in Galway, 'Whisht up'.

Jimmy Moloney, Dublin.

QUESTION HOW common were the signs in England 'Irish Need Not Apply' in Victorian times?

THESE signs, popularly known as 'Nina' (No Irish need apply) were frequently used to prevent emigrants from this country getting work or accommodation.

So prolific was the practice that in the 1820s, many upper and middleclass houses in London put Nina signs in their front windows.

Victorians stereotyped the Irish as being inferior and alcoholic, an attitude stirred up by the political uprisings against the 'mother country', particularly the 1798 rebellion. This prejudice was also strong in Scotland where the indigenous Presbyterian population stood firmly against Catholicism.

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