Stepping on to the rain-drenched greens of Dunham Forest Golf and Country Club the Welsh ace teamed up with one of 18 groups who entered this year’s Manchester United Foundation golf day. This popular annual fundraiser is always well supported by first-team and former players who relished an end of season showdown and set out to prove their golfing prowess.
1968 European Cup winner Paddy Crerand was quick to weigh up the competition in teams fronted by the likes of Sir Bobby Charlton, Paul Scholes, Raphael Di Silva and Tom Cleverley and confessed they were all out to win:
“There is no golf game that isn’t competitive; even if you play with your pals you want to beat them. I’ve even seen Crazy Golf drive people into a state of madness that you wouldn’t know existed.” He added, “It’s great fun and I find that it always improves my bad language. I swear like anything on a golf course - that shows I’m not a great player!”
Although Clayton Blackmore led his team (Harding Building Services) to first in the best team competition, it was Giggs who once again led the way and picked up the prize for best player, much to the annoyance of Paddy, who once again returned to the clubhouse trophy-less: “I’ve never won this event,” he laments, “But I’m going to disappoint Ryan and a lot of other people and stay around long enough to win it one day!”
After a fish and chip super any disappointment at losing was soon forgotten by the golfers, as they joined in a silent auction and raffle, winning exclusive signed Manchester United memorabilia and money-can’t-buy prizes.
The event raised over £20,000 for Foundation projects across Great Manchester, leaving United midfielder Tom Cleverley to sum up the day perfectly: “The weather could have been a little better but all the players enjoy getting on the golf course.” He added, “It’s the perfect fundraiser – relaxing, enjoying yourself and raising money for charity – it doesn’t get much better than that.”
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