European 400m hurdles champion, Dai Greene, is among Britain’s leading hopes for the London 2012 Olympics and, as the 24-year-old Welsh athlete explains, he is also a passionate Red with a huge admiration for a certain United winger…
Firstly, why United?
I used to love playing football in the playground at primary school and as we haven’t had that many great Welsh footballers over the years Ryan Giggs caught my eye. I used to love watching him go at defenders and given he was a Welsh icon, he was the reason behind me starting to follow United.
Is Giggsy your all-time favourite player?
Yes he has to be. I just love his flair, his temperament and the fact he is a fantastic athlete. As I’ve grown older and become more professional in my sport I’ve also appreciated his ability to stay out of the press for the wrong reasons. You only hear about his football achievements and you never hear of him stumbling out of nightclubs. He is 36 now and he has had to adapt his game to stay at the top. He’s not playing how he did 12 years ago, but he is playing just as effectively in a different role.
Which other players have stood out for you?
Beckham, Keano, Yorke and Cole… the list goes on. They were part of that golden era which were so fantastic to watch. Going further back I would have loved to have seen George Best play. From the clips I’ve seen, his skill on the ball was unbelievable and I’m sure had I been around when he played I would have idolised him.
What’s your favourite United memory?
It has to be the 1999 Champions League final. I was running around the room when Sheringham equalised and the euphoria I felt when Solskjaer got the winner is indescribable. I had school the next day, but I couldn’t sleep I was so excited.
With your training commitments how do you manage to follow the Reds?
Fortunately most of my competitions are in summer so they rarely clash with United games. It can be difficult to watch weekend league games when I’m in winter training, but I try to make sure I’m free for as many as possible. I usually manage to catch all of the Champions League games.