Interim Manager Ryan Giggs of Manchester United addresses the crowd after the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Hull City at Old Trafford.  (Photo by John Peters/Man Utd via Getty Images)

Ryan Giggs addresses the Old Trafford crowd after his last appearance for Manchester United.

Ryan Giggs officially announced his retirement from football as a player today.  In a letter addressed to the fans he announced his retirement from professional football and of his new role as assistant manager to new Manchester United manager, Louis van Gaal.

Ryan Giggs is among the most successful players of all time and his retirement brings down the curtain on a tremendous era of success at Old Trafford.

Here is Ryan Giggs’ letter in full:

Today is a fantastic day for Manchester United

Louis van Gaal is a great appointment and let me begin by telling you how delighted I am to be working with someone of his calibre. His credentials are second to none and I’m positive the club will thrive under his leadership.

I would also like to take this opportunity to announce my retirement from professional football and embark upon a new and exciting chapter in my life, as assistant manager of Manchester United.

Ryan Giggs

Ryan Giggs as a fresh faced young United player.

I am immensely proud, honoured and fortunate to have represented the biggest club in the world 963 times and Wales 64 times.

My dream was always to play for Manchester United, and although it saddens me to know I won’t be pulling on a United jersey again as a player, I have been lucky enough to have fulfilled that dream playing with some of the best players in the world, working under an incredible manager in Alex Ferguson, and most of all, playing for the greatest fans in world football. I have always felt and appreciated your support.

I want to also give a huge thanks to the back-room staff and support teams we have and have had at Manchester United over the years.

I would not have achieved the success I have without your continuing dedication and commitment to creating the best environment to enable the players to thrive.

I would not have won 34 trophies without you. I would also like to say a special thanks to my friends and family for all your love and support.

For me, today is a new chapter filled with many emotions – immense pride, sadness, but most of all, excitement towards the future. United fans I hope will share and echo my belief that the club, the management and owners, are doing everything they can to return this great club to where it belongs, and I hope to be there every step of the way.

To the greatest fans in world football, thank you, I have loved every minute of playing for you and representing the biggest and best club in the world.

See you next season.

Ryan

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