Talksport’s Stan Collymore, the former Nottingham Forest and Liverpool striker, has created a post-career reputation as a modern day ‘shock jock’ whose outspoken opinions influence the 1.7 per cent of radio listeners that tune into the station each week. Hardly new but this week the wife-beating dogger labelled Ryan Giggs a cheat.
Following Manchester United’s 3-0 victory over West Ham United on Saturday, in which Jonathan Spector clearly fouled Giggs for the penalty that enabled Wayne Rooney to break a 13 game goalscoring drought, Collymore made the accusation on his Talksport show.
During the match the Welshman cut inside former United player Spector, who dives in and takes the legs of the 36-year-old winger. Referee Mark Clattenburg had no hesitation in awarding the spot kick.
However Collymore disagreed with the referee, accusing Giggs of simulation.
“It’s [the Spector challenge] brushing somebody, now to brush somebody is one thing. To knock somebody over in mid-flow and therefore cause an infringement is another.
“If there’s a Manchester United fan who can honestly tell me that Ryan Giggs was impeded, and impeded sufficiently to knock him out of his stride…?” asked Collymore on his Saturday evening show.
“It wasn’t a penalty, I’m telling you [the challenge] didn’t [knock Giggs over], it wasn’t a penalty.”
“If we keep giving these soft penalties, players are going to keep doing it [diving], it becomes a snowball effect. It makes it more difficult on referees.
“Until [managers tell] players in the dressing rooms, ‘try and stay on your feet’, which they did in my day or ‘we’re going to punish you if you simulate’ [then] we’re going to keep slaughtering referees.
“For me [Giggs] went down too easily.”
Collymore, who repeatedly said throughout the show that Giggs deliberately fell to win the penalty, then goes on to praise a caller who claimed he always stayed on his feet when challenged.
“Good on you lad,” says Collymore
“I want to see you play for Manchester United, not Cristiano Ronaldo and Ryan Giggs.”
Aside from being patently untrue, Collymore’s accusation that Giggs cheated smacks of the bitterness the 39-year-old still feels over the mooted 1995 transfer from Forest to United. United manager Sir Alex Ferguson rejected the wife-beating sexual pervert in favour of Andy Cole, who went on to score 121 goals in 195 games for United.
The saying ‘those in glass houses…’ comes to mind, with Collymore admitting that he beat his then girlfriend Ulrika Jonnson during the 1998 World Cup in France. Perhaps Stan thought that was just good sport?
Later a tabloid newspaper caught Collymore practising the act of ‘dogging’ – performing sexual intercourse in a public area – which is almost certainly illegal indecent exposure under section 5 of the Public Order Act 1986.
Moreover, the label cheat is one that Collymore has trouble avoiding. The striker, for example, was sent off in 1997 for fighting with Andy Todd as Aston Villa met Bolton Wanderers. Hardly within the laws of the game.
The player frequently courted controversy during a career that never fullfilled its early promise. Indeed, ‘Stan the Man’ walked out on Spanish side Oviedo in 2001, let off a fire extinguisher at Leicester’s luxury La Manga hotel in 2000 from which they were thrown out, and started a fight with Paul Gascoigne during a reserve team fixture between Leicester and Everton the same year.
Perhaps Rant should have been more aware. Later, suggesting that Collymore might not be of the same species as the rest of us, Rant found itself at the centre of the Talksport host’s ire.
“I respect your right to suggest anything you like on football,” Collymore warned Rant.
“But I’d be careful who you call sub human pal. Really careful.”