OF SEX SCAN­DAL 13 YEARS ON I told player’s wife cops had him and she screamed: ‘They can keep him!’

Sunday Mirror - - SAIRAKHAN -

ners to tell them of the ar­rests. He says striker James Scowcroft, 41, burst into tears af­ter learn­ing his other half knew about false al­le­ga­tions against him.

But Adams also re­veals a sur­pris­ing re­ac­tion from the wife of 6ft 3ins cen­tre half Matt El­liott af­ter he told her there had been “an in­ci­dent” on the trip.

She asked the man­ager: “Let me stop you there. Does it in­volve women?”

Adams says he told her: “Well, er, sort of, but I’m not re­ally sure he’s been in­volved. But I’m just ring­ing you to let you know that he won’t be in touch for a day or so be­cause he’s, er, been ar­rested.”

El­liott’s wife hit back: “Good. They can f***ing keep him. They can lock him up.”

Then the phone went dead. The sur­real ex­change did at least lighten the mood – but only briefly.

For it emerged that while Sin­clair, Dickov and Gille­spie lay wor­ried in their cell Span­ish po­lice had con­fis­cated food sent to them by Le­ices­ter of­fi­cials. Adams re­veals: “We ar­ranged for the ho­tel to put to­gether a load of grub and blan­kets and send it to the po­lice sta­tion where we were as­sured the lads would be fed. Yeah, right. To this day, I don’t know what hap­pened but not one of the play­ers saw so much as an ap­ple.

“It doesn’t take a ge­nius to work out that the Span­ish po­lice had a great feed at Le­ices­ter City’s ex­pense.”

Club chiefs man­aged to keep the story quiet for two days. When it did leak out, me­dia man­ager Paul Mace told staff to “blank ev­ery­one”. Adams adds: “The ad­vice went like this: ‘Micky, the eyes of the world are on you. Even if you are in pri­vate con­ver­sa­tion with some­one next to you, some­body else might be lis­ten­ing. Don’t smile. Don’t trust any­one’.”

This led to a far­ci­cal episode on the court­house steps in Carta­gena when, as a crowd gath­ered, a car booked to hurry the stars back to their ho­tel failed to show up.

Adams ex­plains: “We walked left. Then we walked right. The press are fol­low­ing us with cam­eras. It was like some­thing out of Benny Hill. I’m shout­ing, ‘Where’s the taxi?’

“Sud­denly, one pulls up out of nowhere and we jump in, smar­tish. It was not a co-or­di­nated exit, let me tell you.”

Adams re­mains sus­pi­cious about the whole af­fair and has a the­ory that it was de­signed to raise the ho­tel’s pro­file.

He writes: “The ho­tel was for sale. They were hav­ing dif­fi­culty fill­ing the rooms. They heard we were com­ing and they put three girls of cer­tain morals, shall we say, in there. The girls said that they had been paid by an­other tourist to go to the ho­tel and spend time with the play­ers, but they never di­vulged who he was.

“Af­ter­wards, the ho­tel went from empty to full with public­ity like you wouldn’t be­lieve. Was it help­ful to have a sex scan­dal in­volv­ing Premier League foot­ballers at a ho­tel com­plex strug­gling to find a buyer? We were front page news on a global scale.”

Adams says La Manga tarred his rep­u­ta­tion for life. “I had just turned 40. Noth­ing can pre­pare you for an event like that. Noth­ing,” he says.

He even­tu­ally left Le­ices­ter a year later and went on to man­age Coven­try, Port Vale, Brighton, Sh­effield United and Tran­mere. He now has a role with non­league Har­bor­ough Town’s un­der-18s and still loves the game.

But he will al­ways blame La Manga for block­ing his re­turn to the top.

When you look me up on in­ter­net what comes up? La Manga... I’m haunted by it MICKY ADAMS ON THE SCAN­DAL THAT WRECKED HIS MAN­AGE­RIAL CA­REER

■■My Life in Foot­ball is pub­lished by Bite­back on Septem­ber 21.


SOLID DE­FENCE Frank Sin­clair goes to court. Right: How Mir­ror re­ported it

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