Wayne Rooney’s Dad Arrested: News Round-Up
It is alleged that Motherwell’s Steve Jennings, also arrested, got himself sent off deliberately during a December 14, 2010 match against Herts. The player had already been booked when he harrassed the referee and earned a stright red card. Jennings allegedly asked O’Reilly when he was going to stop “cheating” his team. He then “gripped” the referee on the arm. Herts won the match 2-1.
Jennings, formerly of Tranmere Rovers, was sent off by referee Stevie O’Reilly seven minutes from time. The Mirror says he was in “Goodison Park club’s youth set-up for a short period at the same time as Wayne Rooney”.
The Association of British Bookmarkers spotted an irregular betting pattern, ranging from £200 to £500, on Jennings being red-carded. One bet, reportedly, came from “a new account opened in Liverpool…where £500 was staked at odds of 10/1”.
The news media reacts:
The front pages:
“Roon’s dad in footie bets quiz” – Daily Star
“Rooney’s agony after dad arrested on match fixing – A BOYL FROM THE BLUE” – Daily Mirror
“Wayne – your dad’s been nicked” – The Sun
England are due to play Montenegro. The Express just goes with a pun: “YOU CAN BET WAYNE ROONEY WILL DO THE BUSINESS SAYS FABIO CAPELLO.” The Sun avgrees: “Will Wayne Rooney play? You bet”
The Guardian picks up on the Mirror’s “Wayne’s agony”, as it reports:
Wayne Rooney ‘relaxed’ and ready for England despite father’s arrest
England manger Fabio Capello tells media:
“Absolutely no problem. He’s calm, relaxed. He’s in a good moment of form and there will be no problems for the game. He’s told me he’s good, no problems. Over the last few days, he’s trained really, really well.”
The Daily Mail creates the headline to fit a theme:
Rooney rocked as father and uncle among nine arrested over SPL spot-fixing scam
The Mail sticks to the facts in a case that could undermine football:
But Rooney’s estranged cousin Stephen, 27, a homosexual and cross dresser, said the arrests were ’embarrassing’. ‘It’s hysterical, but I’m quite surprised it’s just the two,’ he said. ‘And they have the cheek to tell me that putting a dress on is embarrassing for the family.’
The Sun says Rooney was “stunned” when his father was “arrested yesterday at the £450,000 home the soccer hero bought for his parents”.
Yep, £450,000. Is that generous? An unnamed source tells readers:
“He’ll be very upset because he is very supportive of his family.”
Anthony Barnfather, the lawyer representing Rooney’s dad, says:
“Mr Rooney vigorously denies all of these allegations. We are co-operating fully with the investigation. No further comment will be made at this time.”
‘”I want to make it clear I had no involvement whatsoever in any betting scam. I want to clear my name as quickly as possible.”
The Scottish FA move to limit any damage:
In a statement, the Scottish FA’s chief executive, Stewart Regan, said: “While the investigation involves several other individuals outside Scotland, it is important to stress that the evidence gathered throughout this thorough period of investigation has involved only one Scottish match. Motherwell FC are aware of the situation and will issue a response in due course. The Scottish FA will make no further comment at this stage.”
The Independent writes:
Also arrested and bailed were Michael Laffey, 36, from Kirkby, a 22-year-old man from Kirkdale, a 26-year-old man from Croxteth, a 29-year-old man from Bootle, a 31-year-old from Litherland and a 68-year-old from Fazakerley. Mr Laffey is an associate of several high-profile Merseyside footballers.
The Book – Oliver Kay, The Times:
When Wayne Rooney wrote his life story at the age of 20, as superstar footballers tend to do, you might have imagined that his father would figure prominently. But it becomes clear in that ghostwritten tome that the main influences on his life are David Moyes, Sir Alex Ferguson and his agent, Paul Stretford.
One of the few entries about Wayne Rooney Sr in the index concerns his gambling habits: “My dad has always liked a bet, putting a few pence each week on the horses”…
Rooney credits his wife, Coleen, with stopping his gambling getting out of control in his teens. “On the way home from training … I would stop at the bookie’s and put a few quid on a horse. After about a year, though, I had lost about 50 grand, which was stupid. When Coleen found out, she was furious and told me how daft I had been. I said I would give it up, which I did.”
And Rooney? Well, he looks gutted: