Manchester City chief Garry Cook finds himself in the centre of an email storm today - and he's in good company. As I discovered when I researched my book Great Email Disasters, email is a highly-dangerous tool. With an ill-considered click of the mouse you can humiliate yourself in front of millions, lose your job or even end up in court.
Here are five of the funniest email disasters...
1: Joe Dobbie's romantic blunder
Joe Dobbie briefly met a woman at a barbecue party and took a fancy to her. He secretly acquired her email address and sent a toe-curling message, asking her on a date. In it, he described her smile as "the freshest of my special memories" and vowed "I will use it as I do my other special memories, I will call on it when I am disheartened or low, I will hold it in my heart when I need inspiration." He added that he hoped that she would "be able to see sincerity where others would see cliché". She wasn't. Instead, she forwarded the message to her sister and millions of people ended-up reading it as it pinged around the globe. Dobbie had included his phone number in the message and was bombarded with mocking calls from strangers.
2) Cum on you Hammers
City worker Trevor Luxton emailed a group of friends boasting how he had sat watching a West Ham match on television, being fellated by a female friend, whilst chatting to his oblivious fiancée on the phone. "Am I the worst boyfriend in the world or what?" he asked at the end of the message. After the email was leaked he resigned from his firm, his fiancée dumped him and he later claimed that he'd made the whole story up. Oh dear.
3) She's really blown it
Solicitor Bradley Chait was chuffed when he received an email from his sloaney girlfriend Claire Swire, which fondly recalled a recent romp where she had performed a sex act on him. Recalling the standard result of such a sex act, she wrote: "Yours was yum." Chait was so proud that he shared the email with some friends...who shared it with their friends. Millions ended up reading the gory details. Chait, Swire and their parents were hounded by the press and had to go into hiding. Playboy TV offered Swire a presenter's job. She didn't take it up.
4) Email hath no fury...
Why would PR manager Paul Evans send an email to 50 of his treasured business contacts informing them he is a 'snivelling, arrogant little piece of s***' and admitting 'I've got an extremely small penis that couldn't excite a woman's nostril, let alone anything else.' Well, he hadn't actually sent it himself. Instead, his wife Tracey had done so behind his back, after suspecting he might have been cheating on her. The email, entitled 'Time To Fess Up!', was forwarded and ended up being read by hundreds of thousands of people.
5) Cut the crap
When BBC Five Live acquired the services of football commentators Andy Gray and Jonathan Pearce for the 2002 World Cup, executive editor of BBC Sports News Graeme Reid-Davies jokingly emailed a colleague saying: "I think they're both c***." As he discovered to his horror, he had accidentally copied his message to 500 members of the BBC sports staff - including Gray and Pearce. "I can't believe I was such an a***," he later reflected.
Had an email disaster? Why not tell us in the comments section so the rest of us can have a laugh?
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