MODERN football is packed full of pampered prima donnas and man-bag carrying bores.
The game is crying out for some characters to spice things up.
In our feature, we remind you of the violent nutters, randy rebels and VISITING a karaoke bar with Craig Bellamy can be bad for your health – just ask John Arne Riise.
In 2007, during a Liverpool training camp in the Algarve, the Norwegian fullback refused to get up and sing on a team-bonding trip to a karaoke bar, sparking a furious reaction from Bellamy.
And the Welshman wasn’t finished there.
Once the frivolities were over, Bellamy armed himself with a golf club, tracked down Riise at his hotel room and, according to reports, took a swing at him, leaving him with bruised legs.
Following the incident, which earned him the nickname, The Nutter With The Putter, he issued a full apology, before celebrating his next goal, against Barcelona, by simulating a golf swing.
By this point, Bellamy had already forged a reputation as one of the game’s most volatile characters.
In 2002, while playing for Newcastle, he was cautioned for common assault after an incident outside one of the city’s nightclubs.
Then, two years later, he threw a chair at coach John Carver following a spat on the way to a UEFA Cup match in Spain and had to be convinced to travel to the game by then boss Bobby Robson.
Graeme Souness replaced Robson in 2004 but Bellamy didn’t see eye-to-eye with his new manager.
When told to play on the right of midfield spot, it’s alleged that Bellamy refused and threatened to fake an injury if Souness asked again.
He called Souness a liar in the press and was fined £80,000.
Bellamy was loaned to Celtic, but not even 150 miles could stop him pissing off the Toon fans.
Following Newcastle’s FA Cup semi-final defeat, club captain Alan Shearer received a series of abusive messages sent from Bellamy’s phone.
Apparently, the texts questioned Shearer’s age and ability, with one reading: “Your legs are gone. You’re too old. You’re too slow.”
In response, Shearer was alleged to have threatened to “knock his block off”.
Bellamy denied sending the texts, saying his phone had been lost.
Around 18 months later, in November 2006, Bellamy appeared in court charged with assaulting two women in peacocking playboys who over the years have graced the beautiful game with their presence.
Every week we’ll be looking at a different one of the sport’s most mental mavericks. And this week it’s the man they call The Nutter With The Putter, Craig Bellamy. Cardiff, but the striker was cleared after a five-day trial.
In a subsequent spell at Blackburn Rovers, Bellamy managed to stay out of trouble.
However, shortly after his altercation with Riise in 2007, he moved to West Ham, where he managed to get into a vicious war of words with manager Alan Curbishley after his first game.
During West Ham’s preseason clash with Ipswich – local rivals of his first club, Norwich – he was accused of abusing their supporters, making reference to the town’s hookers.
And at his next club, Manchester City, he got into a scrap with a fan who invaded the pitch.
TV footage showed him slapping the fan in the face as he was escorted off.
Most recently, he was arrested in Cardiff and bailed on an alleged assault claim relating to an incident where two men suffered facial injuries. He was never charged. But for all his bad points, he does a lot of work for charity and has invested £1.2 million of his hard-earned cash since 2007 to help build a not-for-profit football academy in Sierra Leone. On Bellamy, Robson said: “He’s the only man I know who could start an argument with himself.”
Bellamy himself said: “If I ever do a book – which I won’t – the headline will be Don’t Google Me.”
BELLY ACHE: Bellamy has never been shy of saying