Sunday, 22 March 2009
The arrest of Ashley Cole the other week once again brought into sharp focus the behaviour of today’s pampered footballers, who both annoy and amuse me with some of their arrogant behaviour off the field. How else to celebrate this fact (and fill my time on a Sunday morning) than by doing a bit of research and digging up some previous examples of footballers finding themselves in hot water:
1. Stan Collymore -2000
Stan the man was enjoying a bit of a career revival under Martin O’Neill at Leicester after grabbing a hat-trick on his debut. But he undid all his good work on a mid-season sojourn to Spain. As the booze began to flow Stan though it would be a good idea to steal a fire extinguisher and spray it all around a hotel bar, located in the up-market resort of La Manga. The whole team was sent home early in disgrace but it was Collymore who found himself of the front pages when he touched down back in blighty.
2. Dennis Wise 2002
Leicester seemed a dangerous place to be at the start of the decade. On this occasion Dennis Wise, so angry after a game of cards, burst into a hotel room and punched team-mate Callum Davenport in the face during a pre-season tour of Finland The Scottish defender fractured his jaw and Wise was promptly sacked.
3. Jody Morris, Frank Lampard, John Terry and Eidur Gudjohnsen 2001
Not exactly illegal but still typically brainless behaviour from Premier League footballers. The Chelsea four (as they infamously became known) decided it would be a good idea to out on the piss in a Heathrow hotel bar. Nothing wrong with that on the face off it, but if you consider it was the day after the World Trade Centre terrorist attacks in New York and they were being loud, drunk and loutish in the presence of several grieving Americans, you can understand why it was a bad idea.
4. Craig Bellamy and a golf club 2006
He was meant to be preparing for a vital Champions League tie in Barcelona but Craig Bellamy had other ideas. It all started when team mate John Arne Riise refused to sing a song during a karaoke session in Portugal. Once again booze was involved and after the team had returned to the hotel Bellamy attacked the Norwegian with a set of golf clubs and had to be separated by boss Rafa Benitez. Liverpool ironically won in the Nou Camp, with Bellamy getting on the score sheet. Both players however no longer play for the Reds.
And finally, not a footballer, but funny nonetheless:
5. Andrew Flintoff 2007
After a defeat to New Zealand in a World Cup group match a group of England decided to get pissed in a St Lucia bar. Flintoff, en-route back to the team hotel decided to jump on a pedalo and ride off into the sea. The former England captain promptly fell in the water and had to be rescued by the emergency services. Flintoff was fined, stripped of the vice-captaincy and dropped for England’s next game. He did apologise the next day at a hastily arranged press conference when he also confirmed to us that: “There was water involved, and a pedalo”.
Cheers for that Freddie.