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MANCHESTER, England -- After 13 league titles, two Champions Leagues, 963 appearances and many more amazing memories, Ryan Giggs brought an end to his incredible 23-year playing career at Manchester United on Monday to take over as the clubs assistant manager. British footballs most decorated player made the announcement in an open letter on Uniteds website, just an hour after he was named as the No. 2 for new manager Louis van Gaal. "For me, today is new chapter filled with many emotions -- immense pride, sadness, but most of all, excitement towards the future," the 40-year-old Giggs said. Giggs will go down as one of the greatest players in the Premier Leagues 22-year history. He is certainly its most durable, playing in every season since the league inception in 1992 -- first as a flying left winger before refining his game to play deeper in midfield. His match-clinching solo goal in the FA Cup semifinal replay against Arsenal in 1999, where he set off from inside his own half, ran around three defenders and slammed a shot into the roof of the net, has gone down as one of the greatest goals in English football. His famous shirt-swinging celebration as he sprinted, bare-chested, along the touchline at Villa Park is also part of FA Cup lore. That will probably be his career highlight on a personal level but he was always more of a team man, one of the most valuable players in Uniteds successful, trophy-laden era under Alex Ferguson, who protected Giggs as a youngster after poaching him from neighbour Manchester City and allowed him to thrive. In an era where players chase money and loyalty counts for little, Giggs remained a one-club man after making his debut against Everton on March 2, 1991 as a lithe 17-year-old wearing a baggy shirt and hitched-up shorts. "I am immensely proud, honoured and fortunate to have represented the biggest club in the world 963 times and Wales 64 times," wrote Giggs, who never played in a World Cup but was a member of Britains squad at the London Olympics. "My dream was always to play for Manchester United, and although it saddens me to know I wont 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 Sir Alex Ferguson, and most of all, playing for the greatest fans in world football." Giggs also won four FA Cups, three League Cups, one UEFA Super Cup, an Intercontinental Cup and a Club World Cup. Last season was the only one in his career where he failed to score a Premier League goal, leaving his career haul at 168 in all competitions. Ferguson, who retired last year, once said that Giggs -- as a 13-year-old -- seemed to float across the ground "like a cocker spaniel chasing a piece of silver paper in the wind," and that description remained true to his last days. Toward the end of his career, when his hair became speckled with grey, he relied on speed of thought rather than the speed of his legs, with his games carefully selected in Fergusons final seasons. Under David Moyes last season, Giggs was used sparingly with more of the Welshmans time taken up by his role as coach. His last game came at Old Trafford against Hull two weeks ago, when he came on as a late substitute to set up one goal and almost score another with a curling free kick that was tipped over the bar. After Teddy Sheringham, Kevin Phillips and Gordon Strachan, Giggs was the fourth outfield footballer to have played in the Premier League in their 40s. "Remarkable career by a loyal, legendary (United) entertainer," FIFA President Sepp Blatter said on Twitter. "963 games. 34 trophies. 1 club." Giggs is being groomed by United as a future manager and he had a brief glimpse of life in the dugout at the end of last season, when he took interim charge for the final four games. If his coaching career is even half as successful as his playing career, he will have done extremely well. "What he has achieved will never be equaled in the English game," United vice chairman Ed Woodward said. "In the way he played, he was the embodiment of a Manchester United player -- fast, skilful, entertaining and determined to win by playing exciting football." Joakim Nordstrom Jersey .C. -- When Michael Jordan speaks, people still listen. Eddie Lack Jersey . 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The Northern Ireland and West Brom midfielder has revealed how he broke down in tears as he told family members the news that his European dream was over.Brunt ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament during West Broms 3-2 win against Crystal Palace and speaking at The Belfry, he described the moment a call from the West Brom doctor confirmed his worst fears. The scans the next day revealed it all and I was in a bad place on that Sunday afternoon, said Brunt, who was at home when the call came. Chris Brunt (left) opens up to Sky Sports News HQ reporter Paul Gilmour It was gutting. My wife was out and I phoned her but I had to hang up. I then phoned my mum and dad and ended up hanging up on them as well. It was just too emotional. Im pretty laid back and things dont tend to get to me, but that was tough to take.The blow is extremely unfair given senior Northern Ireland players, of which Brunt is one, view Euro 2016 as a once-in-a-lifetime reward following years of failed qualifying attempts. Brunt will have to watch his Northern Ireland team-mates this summer in France He added: Weve worked so hard. The games we qualified were great occasions. A few months down the line, things begin to build up [to the tournament]. Id booked for the family to come over to watch.There were the friendlies in March to look forward to and it has all been taken away with one innocuous moment. Im devastated about the games in the summer but its one of those things. Ill get my head down and get back as quick as possible.The 31-year old made his international debut 12 years ago, and in another cruel twist his operation took place in Lyon, just miles from Northern Irelands training base for the tournament. Manager Michael ONeill, attending a UEFA workshop in Paris, visited him in hospital. Brunt suffered his injury against Crystal Palace in February It was a bright point in a bad day, added Brunt. He said that whatever way Id like to be involved they would make it happen. Itll depend on rehab schedules at West Brom.Obviously I cant play in the games but Id like to go and experience it in some shape or form and support the lads who have supported me.The injjury occurred during a game in which West Brom fans visibly backed Brunt after he was struck by a coin, thrown from a section of his own support, the previous Saturday in an FA Cup tie at Reading.dddddddddddd Brunt was struck by a coin thrown from a section of his own support against Reading It was a pretty good week, he joked. Thats done and dusted now. It was a strange one to be involved in, experiencing two sets of emotions - from anger to disappointment [in the space of seven days].In 10 to 20 years time, its one Ill look back on as a week Ill not want to remember.He was, however, full of praise for Albion supporters who raised money for his chosen charities in the aftermath of the coin incident. West Brom fans hold up a banner in support of Brunt It was a great gesture, a lovely gesture, he added. It wasnt something Id want to happen in the circumstances but at least something good came of it and it was great to get their support.He has also praised the clubs medical staff and the many well wishers for their messages. Brunt may now consider what impact this setback will have on his international career as he prepares to fully focus on club football in the coming years. Relive Northern Irelands journey through the European Qualifiers Also See: ONeill signs new NI deal Brunt out of Euro 2016 N Ireland fixtures Euro 2016 wallchart Cheap Jerseys Online Wholesale Black NFL Jerseys Youth NFL Jerseys Wholesale Cheap Jerseys Wholesale Wholesale Nike NFL Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Free Shipping ' ' '