So now we know why David De Gea wears those gloves: so he doesn’t get sticky fingers.
Yes, today’s Sun reports that the Man United #1 has thieved a Krispy Kreme donut (just a plain glaze ring one, too, not even one of the ones with cream in) from an Altrincham branch of Tesco Metro. What a horrendous felony. If he didn’t play every week at Old Trafford, that criminal act would be a stonewall death penalty.
Turns out he’s not the worst footballing criminal though. In fact he’s not even the most crooked goalkeeper. Some of them are thieves, thugs, coke-guzzlers and (possibly) murderers, too. Mind you, you’d probably have a bash at a few of those things if you only worked twice a week, 9 months a year, wouldn’t you? Anything to fill the hours.
And yes, by rights we should have included Phil Neville because his first touch is criminal.
Mentally, please follow that joke with a trill clown-horn honk. Thanks.
GK - Bruno Fernandes (Flamengo)
OK, solemn face. All jauntiness aside, it seems that Bruno Fernandes – who captained Flamengo to the Brazilian league title in 2009 – might have actually murdered his lover Eliza Samudio, hiding her remains somewhere secret where nobody would find them; like, er, inside some dogs. “Police say Ms. Samudio was taken by force from a hotel in Rio de Janeiro and was strangled,” reported the BBC last year. “They say her body was cut up and parts were fed to dogs, while the rest was buried under concrete.”
Fernandes is currently in jail awaiting trial.
RB - Warren Barton (Newcastle)
MINOR THEFT AUTO
It’s hard to follow that grim story with an upbeat sentence about former Wimbledon and Newcastle right-back Warren Barton, but heck, here goes. In 2007, after a drunken night out in east London, Barton and one-time Magpies team-mate Rob Lee hijacked a Mercedes and drove it into the side of a parked van. Oh, those guys. That is classic. Police, however, failed to see the funny side and charged Barton with “driving while unfit”. Fair enough, he hadn’t done a full pre-season in years, etc.
CB - Tony Adams (Arsenal)
You’ve probably met a bloke (down the pub, ironically enough) who’s extolled the virtues of Tony Adams’ book ‘Addicted’. I’ve not actually read it, but from what I can gather, it’s basically a tragic memoir of being drunk whilst playing football and sleeping wrapped up in binbags that ends with Tony - hammered, natch – driving into a wall. He got four months in jail for that latter indiscretion, which is (apparently) hilarious because he missed a flight to Macedonia or something. Still, at least he’s got his career as a successful pundit/football manager/male model to fall back on, eh?
LB - Glen Johnson (Portsmouth)
BOG SEAT THEFT
In 2007, along with his “accomplice” – Millwall’s Ben May – £30,000-a-week Portsmouth and England full-back Johnson attempted to steal a toilet seat from a branch of B&Q. The most fundamental question of all is surely “If you’re on £30,000-a-week, why not say ‘F*** it, let’s steal these from Homebase?’”
Probably the most terrifying human being ever to play football, Big Dunc led with his elbows, followed up with his elbows, and then made sure with some extra elbows.
RW - Mickey Thomas (Wrexham)
No-one has done more for the Michael Bolton haircut in the world of football than Mickey Thomas. However, ‘The Welsh George Best’’s dubious exploits were not limited to his hair: once stabbed in the bum by his then brother-in-law as he shagged said-then-brother-in-law’s missus in a parked car, just a year later in 1993 he was sentenced to 18 months in prison for printing and distributing fake £10 and £20 notes. In 2002 The Independent quotes him as saying, “So Roy Keane’s on 50 grand a week? Mind you, I was on 50 grand a week until the Police found my printing machine!”
LW - Charles N’Zogbia (Wigan Athletic)
Zippy Charlie N-Zee was charged with fraud in 2010 when he tried to hoodwink the DVLA by sending an impostor to sit his driving theory test. Unfortunately, the examiners realised deceit was afoot and moved swiftly to quash any heinous miscarriage of justice. In Charles’ defence, perhaps this was an attempt to make himself more interesting, as his monotonous voice was famously lampooned by a former boss at Newcastle who called him “Charles Insomnia”. If only our gags were as good, eh? Still, we’re sure there’s Joe Kinnear somewhere. (Thanks).
CM (Captain) - Diego Maradona (Argentina)
“What?” You’re asking yourself, “How can tiny-penised gak unit Diego Maradona be in a team full of convicts? Surely he’s led a life of piety.” Well, Sergio Aguero’s father-in-law (as he’s soon-to-be-only remembered as), was jailed for two years and 10 months in 1998 for shooting journalists with an air rifle four years previously. Kindly, though, and befitting treatment of a national (albeit dissolute) institution, the authorities delayed his sentencing so that he could go to France to watch the World Cup.
CM - Rob Lee (Newcastle United)
ACCOMPLICE...to nicking a limo.
The giggling Louise to Warren Barton’s hammered Thelma.
ST - Duncan Ferguson (Newcastle United)
Probably the most terrifying human being ever to play football, Big Dunc led with his elbows, followed up with his elbows, and then made sure with some extra elbows he’d had grafted onto his forehead in case anyone ever needed elbowing with the upper portion of his massive angry Scottish face. This came in useful when he decided to headbutt a Policeman. Also that time he headbutted a fisherman. Oh, and when he headbutted Raith Rovers’ John McStay. The latter, an on-field offence whilst playing for Rangers, earned him a year’s probation. Fortunately, his wonderful nickname, “Duncan Disorderly”, lightens the mood a tad.
ST - Roman Bednar (West Bromwich Albion)
Czech striker Roman Bednar was videoed by The Sun newspaper buying cocaine in 2009, and subsequently banned for three months. “Once I’m over that white line, football is all I can think about,” he unfortunately didn’t say on the matter, thus depriving us of an amusing way to end this paragraph.
ST - Dai Thomas (Cardiff City)
Any major international football tournament is sure to be a highlight in a professional footballer’s career. Euro 2000 proved no exception for then-Cardiff City striker Dai Thomas, as he was arrested while clashing with Belgian police, and then deported. Thomas denied these claims to his club, saying he was caught up in “a sweep”, and, though Cardiff fined him two weeks’ wages, he was not charged with a criminal offence. All of which diverts from the following: WALES DIDN’T EVEN QUALIFY.
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