IN­SIDE STORY

Irish Sunday Mirror - - STYLE ON SUNDAY - BY ALAN SELBY

Micky Adams is haunted by the “La Manga af­fair” and re­gards the 2004 po­lice probe into his Le­ices­ter City play­ers his “worst hour”.

He re­veals how he phoned the wives and girl­friends of each of the nine ar­rested – and how one told him: “Good. They can f ***** g keep him.”

Mil­lion­aire stars Keith Gille­spie, Frank Sin­clair and Paul Dickov were re­duced to shar­ing a freez­ing Span­ish prison cell after al­le­ga­tions which shook English foot­ball to the core.

Even after be­ing freed, they spent months un­der sus­pi­cion be­fore be­ing cleared of rape and sex­ual as­sault charges against three hol­i­day­mak­ers.

Now, in a new book chart­ing his time at the top, 55-year-old Adams de­tails the dev­as­tat­ing im­pact it had on the game, the club and his stars. He re­veals how:

Play­ers broke down in tears as Dickov was led away in hand­cuffs.

Po­lice starved play­ers as they held them be­hind bars – in­ter­cept­ing food sent from their five-star ho­tel.

The club spent days des­per­ately try­ing to keep the story from the press.

TRAIN­ING

Adams, who wrote My Life in Foot­ball with Mir­ror Group jour­nal­ist Neil Mox­ley, says: “It re­ally does haunt me. I’d like to be re­mem­bered as a de­cent man­ager, but when you look up ‘Micky Adams Le­ices­ter City’, what comes up?

“It’s not sav­ing a club from ad­min­is­tra­tion. It’s not get­ting pro­mo­tion. It’s not play­ing in the Pre­mier League. It’s La Manga.”

The drama be­gan shortly after his team touched down in March 2004 for a five-day train­ing break in La Manga, the trendy re­sort south of Ali­cante.

All hell broke loose after a night out when nine of them were taken for ques­tion­ing amid lurid claims by three Ger­man women stay­ing at the re­sort.

There were al­le­ga­tions against some play­ers of a forced en­try into a room at the Hy­att Re­gency Ho­tel and sex­ual as­sault ac­cu­sa­tions against three oth­ers.

De­fender Sin­clair, now 45, even­tu­ally faced charges over the al­leged at­tack, along with striker Dickov, 44, and winger Gille­spie, 42.

But more than two months after the ar­rests all charges were dropped.

DNA ev­i­dence proved none of them had sex­ual con­tact with the women.

But Adams was so shaken that he of­fered to quit and con­tem­plated walk­ing away from foot­ball for good.

The club re­jected his res­ig­na­tion. But Adams, who was a de­fender with the likes of Southamp­ton dur­ing his play­ing ca­reer, says his days in top-tier man­age­ment were num­bered.

Pre­mier League clubs snubbed him be­cause the “mud stuck”.

Re­veal­ing how the drama un­folded, he tells how he was at the ho­tel – stay­ing off booze to pro­tect a dam­aged liver – while the play­ers were on a night out. Adams and Dickov, who was ar­rested Hy­att Re­gency in La Manga Gille­spie, Sin­clair and Dickov re­turn­ing to UK The al­le­ga­tions sur­faced the next day and the team at­tended a Carta­gena po­lice sta­tion for ques­tion­ing.

Adams says: “As soon as we sat down, two armed guards came and stood in front of the doors.

“It was clear it was no longer a laugh­ing mat­ter. No one was now al­lowed to leave the build­ing.”

SHOVING

Mid­fielder St­ef­fen Fre­und, 47, was freed after he ad­mit­ted hav­ing con­sen­sual sex with a wo­man.

But the mood dark­ened when cops led Dickov back into the room after in­ter­ro­gat­ing him.

Adams goes on: “He’s bent for­ward, arms be­hind his back in hand­cuffs, with two mean cop­pers push­ing him around.

“They’re shoving him through the room and to­wards the other door. The lads are gen­uinely gob­s­macked.

“Then, one by one, they all go in – and they all come out hand­cuffed.”

He re­veals how he rang play­ers’ part-

LOY­ALTY HEART­BREAK HO­TEL WRONGLY AC­CUSED

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