Ryan Giggs portrait to be placed in National Library of Wales | inside World Soccer

A portrait of Ryan Giggs has been bought by the National Library of Wales for £10,000 and it will be placed at their Aberystwyth headquarters.

The Manchester United star and former Wales international was just 24-year-old and in the prime of his glittering career when he posed in 1998 for artist Peter Edwards at a makeshift studio near Old Trafford.

Mr Edwards, based in Oswestry, Shropshire, had completed a portrait of England World Cup hero Sir Bobby Charlton, which now hangs on the walls of the National Portrait Gallery in London, and was keen to capture Giggs. He then contacted Sir Bobby who set up his meeting with the Welsh Wizzard.

Giggs, who has played 63 times for his country and scored 12 goals, posed for three sittings for about an hour before the artist completed it in his own studio just a year ago.

The artist said: "We first met in Manchester in an improvised studio.

"He sat for about an hour. He was very down-to-earth and quietly spoken but very friendly.

"You sometimes worry that you are going to be disappointed (when you meet a famous person) but I thought he was a very nice young man.

"I didn’t want to paint him as a footballer chasing down the line but more as the person I encountered when we met.

"I’m very pleased with the end result. The National Library of Wales doesn’t buy paintings unless they are up to standard."

The artist has now handed it over to the library and it is expected to go on show in the new year.

Giggs' portrait joins NHS founder Aneurin Bevan, poet Dylan Thomas and painter Sir Kyffin Williams, and is expected to go on show next month.

The organisation, which has about 50,000 pieces of art in its collection, already has a number of portraits but only one of a sportsman – former rugby star Barry John.

Dr Paul Joyner, the library’s head of purchases and donations, said: "Ryan is an example of one of our great Welshmen and it is a lovely portrait.

"The painting shows him as a slightly shy but very determined and deep person."

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