Three years ago, his family man image was in tatters when he lost a £150,000 legal battle to hush up an affair with a glamour model.
Ryan Giggs’s reputation took a further beating when his sister-in-law said she aborted his child two weeks before her marriage to his brother.
The sordid claims made the father of two – and former BBC Sports Personality of the Year – a laughing-stock.
Yet yesterday he capped an unlikely comeback by taking charge of one of the sporting world’s biggest names, Manchester United.
His elevation to player-coach was announced following the sacking of David Moyes after ten disastrous months in the hot seat at Old Trafford.
Neither Giggs, 40, nor his team-mates made any comment as they arrived at the club’s training ground yesterday.
Fifty-year-old Moyes, who is set for a pay-out of up to £10million, is thought to have left by a back door to avoid the cameras.
Investors gave the temporary appointment of one of the club’s most decorated players a vote of confidence, with United shares up 6 per cent on Wall Street.
But users of Twitter – which Giggs had tried to sue to keep his affair with Big Brother contestant Imogen Thomas a secret – were quick to make fun of the club’s announcement.
They posted jokes suggesting Giggs might now target his players’ wives.
As a youthful star, he dated celebrities including television presenter Dani Behr and former Hollyoaks actress Davinia Taylo
The veteran had apparently settled down after marrying Stacey in 2007, later presenting her and their two young children to a global television audience at Old Trafford.
However his private life became one of the worst-kept secrets in British legal history in 2011 after Miss Thomas gave a newspaper interview about their affair.
The High Court controversially imposed a draconian gagging order barring publication of Giggs’s name. This ruling was quickly flouted by thousands on Twitter.
He instructed lawyers to try to silence the social networking service before the prospect of a full-scale battle between the courts and Parliament ended with MP John Hemmings naming him in the Commons.
Giggs’s reputation suffered a further blow two months later when the wife of his younger brother revealed they had had an eight-year relationship.
Mother-of-two Natasha claims Giggs arrived on a mountain bike to give her £500 in cash to pay for the abortion of their baby before her wedding to Rhodri.
Despite the public humiliation, Giggs and his wife remained together at their £6million mansion in Worsley, Greater Manchester.
His brother’s marriage ended in divorce with Natasha going on to appear in Celebrity Big Brother. She is expecting her third child with a new partner.
Giggs’s father, Danny Wilson, later said he had wanted to give the star ‘a bloody hiding’ after learning about the claims.
The 56-year-old, who split from his sons’ mother Lynne when Giggs was a teenager, branded him ‘gutless’.
Giggs will take charge of the team for Saturday’s match against Norwich and some fans hope he will take the job full time – perhaps in harness with an experienced manager such as Louis van Gaal of the Netherlands.
But Ladbrokes made that an 8/1 long shot, not far ahead of the 14/1 odds offered on a return for Sir Alex Ferguson whose success made United a global brand.