Beckham and Giggs take centre stage at Neville's Manchester United bow

26 May 2011 09:48

Manchester United star Ryan Giggs escaped the media storm around his private life to pay tribute to long-time friend Gary Neville.

Press attention on Giggs, 37, intensified when he was named in Parliament as the married footballer involved in a controversial privacy case.

The class of 1992: Alongside current United players Giggs (second left) and Paul Scholes (right), Sir Alex Ferguson is reacquainted with Nicky Butt, David Beckham, Gary Neville and Phill Neville

The way they were: Eric Harrison with Ryan Giggs, Nicky Butt, David Beckham, Gary Neville, Phil Neville, Paul Scholes and Terry Cooke

Liberal Democrat MP John Hemming used parliamentary privilege to name him as the Premier League player who took out an injunction over his alleged relationship with 28-year-old reality TV star Imogen Thomas.

Atame question about the veteran Welshman during a press conference today ahead of Saturday's Champions League final with Barcelona led to Sir Alex Ferguson threatening to ban a journalist from future briefings.

Centre of attention: Giggs with his old pal Neville (left) and with plenty on his mind (right)

In the spotlight: Ryan Giggs was in the starting line-up as Old Trafford bade farewell to Gary Neville

Now police are investigating an incident that occurred near Giggs' home in north Manchester, in which a number of vehicles belonging to members of the media were attacked.

Amid that maelstrom, Giggs probably found the football pitch a place of peace.

On the ball: Gary Neville made one final appearance at Old Trafford

Once a Red: Gary Neville applauds the Old Trafford faithful

Itcertainly appeared so as he drove the low cross into Wayne Rooney's path that put United ahead in Neville's testimonial against Juventus.

Rooney had been a surprise inclusion and the striker lasted half an hour before he was replaced, along with Giggs and Paul Scholes.

Enlarge Trademark: David Beckham fires in a free-kick

The latter duo are members of the famed 'Class of 92', of which Neville was also an integral part.

With Nicky Butt, Phil Neville and David Beckham also reporting for duty, the sextet boasted an impressive 3,323 United appearances between them.

Surprise outing: Wayne Rooney latched on to Giggs's cross to open the scoring

For Beckham in particular, it was an emotional night as he pulled on the famous red jersey for the first time since he left for Real Madrid in 2003.

The reception Beckham received was, if anything, more enthusiastic than the one afforded to Neville.

Bringing back some memories: David Beckham in action at Old Trafford

British bulldog: David Beckham tackles a mischievous young fan

At times, it was like the years being rolled back as the pair combined down the right flank, as they did so often for the Red Devils in their prime.

Michael Owen, who played so often alongside Neville and Beckham for England, nodded one of the full-back's trademark crosses over.

It's just like the old times: Neville and Beckham combined on the right flank, while Giggs (right) embarks on a mazy run

Owen also blazed over from a Bebe cross not long after Simone Pepe had equalised for Juve.

Anderson and Rafael were introduced after the break, when Beckham curled a trademark free-kick narrowly over from the edge of the area.

Faithful servant: Neville made 602 appearances for the Red Devils since his debut in 1992

Lap of honour: Neville receives the applause of supporters

Neville's night ended after 83 minutes, the former England full-back leaving the field to a well-deserved standing ovation.

By that time, Manuel Giandonato had curled home a superb winner for Juventus.

 Now Ferguson issues gagging order to reporter who dared to ask a question about Ryan GiggsFaithful Fergie! Giggs to start against Barca in Wembley final despite affair Neville night will give me goosebumps, admits Beckham ahead of United returnBolt foresees victory for United and a record breaking run in RomeAll the latest Manchester United news, features and opinionHow rich is Ryan Giggs? (

 Explore more:People: Alex Ferguson, Paul Scholes, John Hemming, Phil Neville, David Beckham, Michael Owen, Ryan Giggs, Wayne Rooney, Nicky Butt, Gary Neville, Imogen Thomas Places: Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester, United Kingdom

Source: Daily_Mail

World Cup Group G

Belgium 1 0 0 3 3
England 1 0 0 1 3
Tunisa 0 0 1 -1 0
Panama 0 0 1 -3 0
Last updated : 16:17