The Dirty Dozen: Ryan Giggs and 11 Legends Who Shame Old Trafford

Lawrence McNeelaContributor IIIOctober 13, 2011

The Dirty Dozen: Ryan Giggs and 11 Legends Who Shame Old Trafford

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    Tommy Docherty brought shame and disgrace upon Manchester United when he led the club to relegation in 1974. Three years later, he set the tone for this light-hearted skit by having an affair with the physio's wife.

    Manchester United claim to be the best supported club in the world. Maybe they are, but they are almost certainly the most loathed club in England too.

    Here we list the dirty dozen who put the devil into Red Devils, the naughty boys who've brought shame and disapprobation on the biggest club in the world (tm).

Mark Bosnich

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    Aussie goalkeeper Mark Bosnich was one of Sir Alex Ferguson's countless attempts to replace Denmark legend Peter Schmeichel. It didn't work out.

    Sadly, neither did his marriage to Englishwoman Lisa Hall. That ended just three months after the Home Office decided it wasn't a sham and granted Bosnich leave to remain in Britain indefinitely.

    It perhaps isn't a surprise that Bosnich never made the most of his undoubted potential. He admitted to snorting up to 10 grams of cocaine a day when with supermodel Sophie Anderton.

Wayne Rooney

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    Where does one start with Wayne Rooney? The sending off against Montenegro or the one against Portugal? Perhaps the swearing at his own fans during the World Cup finals in South Africa? Or the repeat offence for Sky's television camera last season?

    No, we'll go back to the "Auld Slapper."

    Then 16 years old, Rooney made the soccer world laugh with allegations he consorted with grab-a-granny prostitute Patricia Tiernan in a Liverpool brothel. At least he'd raised his standards by the time he allegedly cheated on his pregnant wife with another hooker, sexy call-girl Jennifer Thompson.

Rio Ferdinand

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    Back in September 2003, Rio Ferdinand missed a routine drug test and was rightly fined and banned for the misdemeanour. He missed eight months of the season.

    Booze has besmirched Ferdinand's character, too. In September 1997, he was banned for driving for one year following a failed breathalyser test. In total, the former England captain and "role model" has been banned from driving four times.

Mickey Thomas

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    Most Manchester United fans won't remember Mickey Thomas because he played football before Sky invented the Premier League.

    Welsh international Thomas played 90 games for United in the late 70s/early 80s, scoring 11 times. However, he is best known for his part in a counterfeit money scam in 1993. Found guilty of laundering money through Wrexham's trainees, Thomas was sentenced to 18 months in jail.

David Beckham

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    We're not going to bring up Rebecca Loos' allegations of an affair with David Beckham when he played in Madrid. Goldenballs has always denied them.

    No, Beckham wins a place on this wall of shame for wearing a sarong. In public. Enough said.

George Best

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    It's not George Best's legendary womanising that gets the Northern Irishman a mention here, nor the way he squandered his talents so wantonly.

    George had a dark side according to former wife Alex.

    She once said, “He might have those lovely blue sparkling Irish eyes, but I’ve had his fists pummelling my face, his hands tearing my hair. I’ve seen alcohol turn him into a violent and uncontrollable monster. Yes, I loved him for years, but he took me to hell and back.”

Bryan Robson

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    Bryan Robson was the most over-rated soccer player of the 1980s. Only the press and a loyal few at Old Trafford called him Captain Fantastic; everybody else thought he was an injury-prone load of old rubbish.

    This summer, a Channel 4 documentary caught him apparently discussing how to break FA rules by investing illegally in the ownership of English football clubs. He and friend Joe Sim even suggested they could call in favours from Sir Alex Ferguson in getting loan signings to boost the club in question's profile.

    Sir Alex Ferguson denied any involvement.

Ryan Giggs

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    When tasty Welsh WAG Imogen Thomas caught Ryan Giggs' eye, the United legend tried to hide his affair from the press with a so-called Super Injunction. However, Internet users soon spilled the beans on the Cardiff-born love rat.

    Famously a one-club man, if only Giggs had been as loyal with his women, he might not have made this list.


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    Cristiano Ronaldo brought shame on his club virtually every time he pulled his shirt on. Skill, talent and explosive shooting were all good, but his dives and dying swan routines made him a figure of fun / hate (delete as applicable) each time he went to ground.

Patrice Evra

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    Patrice Evra brought shame on himself, club and country when he led a player revolt during the World Cup finals in 2010. Nik Anelka had been sent home in disgrace, an action that incensed national captain Evra so much that he led his band of merry men in refusing to take part in a training session.

    The way France played during the finals, perhaps they were on strike for most of their time in South Africa!

Roy Keane

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    Irish thug Roy Keane let his country down in 2002 when a personal dispute with boss Mick McCarthy led to him storming home from the World Cup finals. That was bad enough.

    This horror tackle on Alf-Inge Haaland helped put an end to the Norwegian's career.

    Only one word for this tackle: disgusting.

Eric Cantona

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    Cod philosopher Eric Cantona is famous for his bizarre sardine analogies.

    Undoubtedly gifted, his assault on Crystal Palace loudmouth Matthew Simmons led to an eight month ban and two week prison sentence, reduced to meaningless community service on appeal.

    Then FA chief Graham Kelly described the attack as, "a stain on our game."