Wednesday 13 December 2017

England at the Euros: Rooney and Vardy in talks over the prominence of his wife

One Direction's Louis Tomlinson (right) attending the wedding of Leicester City and England player Jamie Vardy to Rebekah Nicholson. Picture: Hello!/PA Wire
One Direction's Louis Tomlinson (right) attending the wedding of Leicester City and England player Jamie Vardy to Rebekah Nicholson. Picture: Hello!/PA Wire

Jack de Menezes

Wayne Rooney and other senior members of the England squad have spoken to Jamie Vardy about the prominence of his new wife, Rebekah, on social media in a bid to avoid any unwanted distractions ahead of the Euro 2016 last-16 encounter with Iceland.

England manager Roy Hodgson has allowed his squad to use social media while out in France for the tournament, and while there have not been any incidents of note, there are concerns among the hierarchy that Raheem Sterling has been mentally affected by the abuse he has received on Twitter for his performances.

It’s due to this fear that Rooney has spoken to members of the England squad including Vardy where the subject of his wife’s presence in France, according to The Times. Mrs Vardy has been prominent in the media over the last few weeks since the couple agreed to sell their wedding photographs to Hello! magazine.

Vardy is already in the headlines regularly due to his phenomenal season with Leicester in winning the Premier League, and confirmation came on Thursday morning from the league champions that the 29-year-old striker has signed a new four-year contract with the Foxes to snub a move to Arsenal after they activated his £20m release clause - which is no longer in effect.

On top of this, Mrs Vardy has also been writing a column for a national newspaper while in France and she has made numerous television appearances as well as attending every game during the tournament group stages.

Mrs Vardy is a regular user of Twitter, and she posted messages on the social media site after the 1-1 draw with Russia in which she claimed she was part of a group that had tear gas deployed near them and claimed England fans were being “treated like animals” by French police.

She also spoke out publicly against Lee Chapman, the Jamie Vardy lookalike that has subsequently been blocked on social media by the couple after he was accused of being “a stalker”.

Responding to messages on Twitter claiming it was unfair to block the season ticket holder, Mrs Vardy said: "And??? Being a season ticket holder doesn't give you the green light to become a stalker!"

As quoted by The Sun, she added: "I personally wished him all the best but also asked him to STOP tagging himself into every picture I put up...Of my family which usually had my children in. Also tagging his agency & promoting their business..."

"I don't block people for no reason!"

This isn’t the first time that the England players’ Wives and Girlfriends [Wags] have become a talking point at a major tournament. Former England defender Rio Ferdinand described the following of the Wags at the 2006 World Cup in Germany as “a circus” while Fabio Capello was vocal in his dislike of the group in the build-up to the 2010 World Cup.

Rooney’s intervention, along with other senior figures among the playing squad, comes after Hodgson expressed concern for Sterling’s state of mind after he was jeered in the first half of England’s 2-1 win over Wales, in which he was substituted at half-time.

The Manchester City forward has been advised to stay off social media during the tournament, given that he posted a picture of the Stade Velodrome – where England drew 1-1 with Russia – along with the caption “#TheHatedOne”.

Independent News Service

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