Yes, I used the F-word ...but it’s just my Scottish heritage!
Man United legend Crerand in drink-drive rant at police
FOOTBALL legend Paddy Crerand blamed a foul-mouthed rant at police on his ‘being Scottish’, after he was arrested for drink driving.
The 79-year-old flew off the handle when a female officer asked him to spell his name as he was held following an early-morning crash.
The Glasgow-born former Manchester United midfielder – who is now a television and radio commentator – told the officer: ‘If they can’t spell it, tell them to f*** off.’
Crerand – who played 304 games with the club between 1963 and 1971 – had pulled out of a side road in his black Audi only 300 yards from his home and ploughed into another car. He and his wife Noreen were returning from a family dinner at the time of the accident at 1am on January 15.
When the driver of the red Ford Fiesta checked how the Crerands were, the former player even questioned why he was out at that time of the night.
Crerand told him: ‘I can’t believe what you have done. What have you done, son? I can’t believe what you have f ****** done, I can’t f ****** believe this.’
Manchester Magistrate’s Court heard that the father of three, who has eight grandchildren, was found to be almost twice the drink-drive limit.
But in explaining his behaviour, Crerand said swearing was just his way of expressing himself, having come from the tough workingclass city of Glasgow. Defence lawyer Kush Verma told the court: ‘He is a Glaswegian, he is a Scotsman, and he had used bad language during this incident. But it wasn’t used aggressively, it’s just the way he speaks.
‘He did use the F-word but he uses this as a way of expressing himself. This was a difficult incident he was involved in. This was a temporary lapse of concentration, considering everything going through his head at the time.
‘His wife was taken unwell and he believed she was distressed. He believed this was an emergency. He believed he needed to get her home to get her medication.’
Mr Verma added: ‘He apologises to the court for the incident that occurred. He believed he was doing the right thing.’
Crerand, of Sale, near Altrincham, Greater Manchester, admitted drink-driving and driving without due care and attention, and was banned from the road for 22 months. Tests revealed he had 65 micrograms of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit south of the Border is 35mcg.
Crerand told the hearing that his wife had become unwell on the way back from his daughter’s house, where he had three or four glasses of wine. He said: ‘I thought it was better for me to take the chance and drive. I didn’t see the other car coming, I had a good look, there was nothing in the way. I probably did use bad language but not in an aggressive way.
‘On the football pitch we use it all the time. If you go to Glasgow, it’s the first thing you hear.
‘I wasn’t aggressive. My wife was my main concern. My head was elsewhere at the time. I have been driving for 50 years. My vehicle was in good condition. I had no intention of going anywhere else.
‘I intended to go home and go to bed. My wife was my greatest concern. I have never been involved in drink-driving in the past.
‘I’m sorry for what happened, I felt I had to drive home.’
When asked in court why the couple could not have walked home, Crerand retorted: ‘I don’t understand what you are asking me. You weren’t there, how do you know what happened?
‘She couldn’t have walked home, it would have taken her 20 minutes and would have taken me ten minutes.
‘I thought the other car was stopping. That road is busy during the day and never busy at night.’
Of the swearing, he added: ‘I can’t remember saying anything like that to the police, I wouldn’t say that to a lady.’
Crerand was also fined £1,500 plus £680 court costs and ordered to complete a drink-driver rehabilitation course.
He shook his head as sentence was passed.
‘In Glasgow, it’s first thing you hear’
‘Not aggressive’: Paddy Crerand outside court yesterday
Champions: Crerand, left, with Matt Busby and George Best after the team’s European Cup victory in 1968