Last year, I had a little grumble about the current crop of English professional football players. So, as a rest from all the scandals of Rooney and Cole and Terry and Lampard and whoever CTB may be, and so on, maybe I should give some praise to a model pro instead.
Strictly, I think he is Welsh rather than English, but Ryan Giggs has had an illustrious career in the English Premier League. He has loyally stuck with Manchester United throughout his career, too. I suppose that is easier when the only way out is down, but there are plenty of other players who have churned through United and other clubs of similar standing in pursuit of the fastest buck. He has looked after himself physically in a way that all professional sportsmen ought to but too few actually do, and remains an international grade outfield player at an age that only goalkeepers usually go on to.
What must be especially admired though, is that you never read of any scandal about him in the papers, only praise for his performances and the mighty haul of trophies those performances have brought. When our vigilantly investigative tabloids can not find any sordid tales they can print to enliven our Sundays, despite almost two decades in one of the most sleaze-ridden trades around, our hero Ryan must really be something special.
Unless, of course, he is just as bad of the rest of them, and all that is special is that he is canny enough to hire scarier lawyers than the others, so the tabloids have found sordid tales they can't print. Just a hypothetical possibility, naturally: A hero like him wouldn't really be like that, now would he?