Yes, I used the F-word ...but it’s just my Scottish her­itage!

Man United legend Crerand in drink-drive rant at po­lice

Scottish Daily Mail - - News - By Amy Walker

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

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.