Ryan Giggs says night in cell was ‘worst experience’ as he breaks down in court

Former footballer tells the court he was 'confused, scared' as his partner called the police following an altercation

The former Manchester United footballer Ryan Giggs, 48, said he was taken to Pendleton Police Station after being arrested on suspicion of assaulting his ex-partner Kate Greville on November 1, 2020. Getty
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Ryan Giggs described his night in a police cell as “the worst experience of my life” as he broke down in court on Wednesday.

The former Manchester United footballer, 48, said he was taken to Pendleton Police Station after being arrested on suspicion of assaulting his ex-partner on November 1, 2020.

The incident was a “sort of tug-of-war” in which he and Kate Greville “clashed heads” after he attempted to grab her phone, the former Wales manager told the jury at Manchester Crown Court .

Asked by his lawyer, Chris Daw QC, how he engaged with the police when they arrived at his home in Worsley, Greater Manchester, Giggs said: “Just answered their questions.”

“I was scared. I’d never been in that position before, so scared,” he said, describing his emotional state at the time.

Giggs confirmed he was arrested, taken to the police station in Salford, Greater Manchester, and spent the night in a cell.

He then started crying as he said it was the “worst experience of my life”.

Giggs told the court he got “hardly any” sleep that night and spoke to a solicitor for the first time the next day.

The defendant told jurors he would never headbutt Ms Greville, telling the court he and his former girlfriend “totally lost balance because we slipped on the shopping bags”.

Earlier on Wednesday, Giggs told the court about the “rough” sex life he enjoyed with Ms Greville.

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He is on trial accused of assaulting the 38-year-old and her younger sister, Emma Greville, 26, at his home. He is also accused of using controlling and coercive behaviour against his former girlfriend.

"I was frustrated that Kate would not give me my phone back, so I tried to get her phone," Giggs said of the incident at his home.

“As I went to grab the phone, I’m facing the cloakroom door and Kate has her back to that door. We both slipped on the bags and I fell on Kate into the cloakroom.”

Mr Daw asked: “Was that deliberate on your part?”

Giggs replied: “No, we just totally lost balance because we slipped on the shopping bags.

“My head was around her waist height. Then Kate just proceeded to kick me in the head.”

“Did you do anything physical?” Mr Daw asked.

“No, as soon as we were on the floor I was just protecting my head. After these six, seven kicks to the head, I just got up and we went our separate ways,” Giggs said.

Ex-Manchester United footballer Ryan Giggs pleads not guilty to assault charges - video

He said he did not see Emma Greville when the struggle took place.

Mr Daw asked: “Did you deliberately elbow Emma?” and Giggs replied: “No.”

Giggs said he later found his phone on a window sill near the front door.

“Were they (the sisters) showing signs they were willing to leave?” Mr Daw asked.

“Not really, no. Mac (Giggs’s dog) was still running about,” replied Giggs.

He said he later discovered Kate Greville’s phone in the utility room and put it in his trouser pocket. “It was tit for tat," he added. "If she was going to take my phone, I was going to take her phone.

“She said she wanted her phone back and I said I was not giving it back.

“Stupidly, I kept on to her phone. Then Kate sort of grabbed my wrist while my hand was in my pocket and led me to the fridge.

“I was not resisting. We went all around the kitchen island.”

“How far did the two of you get around the island?” Mr Daw asked.

“All the way round up to the dining room table and chairs. Kate had then stopped because her back was against the chair and table," Giggs replied.

“The tugging just got a little bit more aggressive… we were facing each other, it was sort of tug-of-war and we then clashed heads.

“It happened really quickly. I felt my lips against hers.”

“What was her reaction?” Mr Daw asked.

“I could see quite clearly she had been hurt. She just fell backwards, more towards the table,” Giggs said.

“Who was becoming more aggressive?” Mr Daw asked.

“Kate got more aggressive because she was not getting any joy from getting my wrist from my pocket,” said Giggs.

“Did she (Kate Greville) say anything at that point?”


“Did she say anything after that to say what had happened?”

“She accused me of hitting her in the face. She accused me of headbutting her.”

“Did you at any stage put your hands on Kate’s shoulders and forcefully and deliberately headbutt her in the face?”

“No, I did not.”

“Would you ever do such a thing?”


Emma Greville then dialled 999, the court heard.

Mr Daw asked Giggs how he felt about the implications of being accused in this way.

“Confused, scared. Because it now looked like a situation that was completely different. I was scared,” said Giggs.

The defendant denies wrongdoing and the trial continues.

Updated: August 18, 2022, 2:16 PM