Former Manchester United footballer Ryan Giggs deliberately headbutted his ex-girlfriend and controlled her throughout their relationship, a court has heard.

Prosecutors say the 47-year-old assaulted PR executive Kate Greville when “in drink” and caused her actual bodily harm at his home in Worsley, Greater Manchester, on November 1 last year.

The Wales boss is also said to have engaged in controlling and coercive behaviour towards the 36-year-old between December 2017 and November 2020, namely that he used violence, isolation, belittling, humiliation, harassment, degradation and abuse.

Outlining the assault charge during the brief 13-minute hearing at Manchester Magistrates’ Court, prosecutor Andrea Griffiths said: “That is a domestic assault of his then partner, Kate Greville.

“It involved a deliberate headbutt to her, aggravated by the fact of the domestic background and the fact he was in drink at the particular time.”

The prosecutor said Giggs’ alleged controlling behaviour began “more or less from the start of the relationship” and involved “fear of violence on many occasions”, “incessant communications” and “ensuring she remained in a relationship with him, isolating her from friends and work colleagues”.

Giggs appeared in the dock and entered not guilty pleas to both counts.

He clasped his hands in front of him as he also gave his full name and address.

Ryan Giggs court case
Court artist sketch of Ryan Giggs, who entered not guilty pleas to the charges against him (Elizabeth Cook/PA)

He faces a third count of assault by beating of Ms Greville’s younger sister, Emma Greville, in the same alleged incident on November 1.

That matter was not put to him formally on Wednesday but last week he issued a statement in which he denied all the allegations and said he would “look forward to clearing my name”.

Deputy Senior District Judge Ian Ikram ruled that the case could only be dealt with at a higher court and bailed Giggs to appear at Manchester Crown Court on May 26.

Giggs’ conditions of bail are that he must not contact Kate or Emma Greville or go to any address where they are.

Kate Greville reportedly met Giggs when she was working on public relations for his Hotel Football business venture, opposite Manchester United’s Old Trafford stadium.

Manchester United 2008 XI v Carrick All Stars – Michael Carrick Testimonial Match – Old Trafford
Ryan Giggs had a glittering career with Manchester United (Richard Sellers/PA)

In April 2018 she was appointed head of PR and communications for GG Hospitality, the hospitality management firm co-owned by Giggs and former United team-mate Gary Neville.

She was involved in the launch of their Stock Exchange Hotel in Manchester city centre before she took up a new PR consultancy post last July with a former employer.

The Football Association of Wales (FAW) has announced that caretaker boss Robert Page will manage the country at this summer’s European Championship finals.

Giggs won 64 caps for Wales and had a glittering playing career with Manchester United, winning 13 Premier League titles, two Champions League trophies, four FA Cups and three League Cups.

He is also a co-owner of League Two side Salford City.