Tuesday 10: Football drink-drivers

Ollie Irish

5th, June 2007


Our weekly lists looks at 10 footballers who stupidly had at least one too many before getting behind the wheel. Far too many to choose from for this category, but here we go…
Addicted.jpg1 Tony Adams
Football’s most well-known drink-driver was jailed for three months in 1990 for drink driving. Already Arsenal club captain at the time, Adams was sent to Chelmsford Open Prison after crashing his car into a wall while four times over the legal limit.

2 Jermaine Pennant

The Arsenal connection continues. Pennant was also jailed for three months after planting his Mercedes into a lampost in Aylesbury, Bucks, in 2005 while on loan at Birmingham City. Pennant had allegedly got lost on a drunken journey from Bristol to London. Hilariously, he gave his name as Ashley Cole when he was caught. Pennant returned to Birmingham on his release from prison and played with an electronic tag on for a while.

3 Peter Shilton
Shilts was drunk behind the wheel of his car in a country lane with his bit on the side at 5am in the morning . When the lady in question’s husband turned up Shilton made a quick getaway, until he wrapped his car around a lampost that is (such a cliche!). He was fined £350 and disqualified from driving for 15 months.
4 Michael Essien
The Chelsea midfielder is currently out on bail after being arrested at the end of April on suspicion of drink driving. Essien was stopped by police at 5am in Old Kent Road after leaving a nightclub. His bail is due to end in July.
5 Peter Beagrie
On a pre-season tour of Spain in 1991 an inebriated Beagrie – disgruntled at being unable to attract the attention of the night porter at a hotel – borrowed a motorcycle and crashed it through a plate glass window. Beagrie required 50 stitches and, to rub salt into his multiple wounds, he had got the wrong hotel!
6 James Beattie
A well and truly merked drink-driver if you believe his version of events. An over-the-limit Beatts was apparently talked into moving his car around 20 yards despite have designated Chelsea benchwarmer Wayne Bridge with him as a designated driver. He was given 100 hours community service and warned that he was close to a custodial sentence.
7 George Best
Georgie spent Christmas 1984 in prison after being sent down for drink-driving. He was given a three-month sentence, which might leave Adams and Pennant feeling a little aggrieved as Best assaulted a police officer too. He picked up another conviction in 2004, but this time was just banned from the road.

8 Rio Ferdinand

The England defender has somehow avoided the drink-driving stigma that has affected other players in this list. In 1997, buried beneath news of Princess Diana’s death, an 18-year-old Ferdinand was convicted of drink-driving. He was banned from driving and dropped from Glenn Hoddle’s England squad.
9 Matt Etherington
The West Ham winger was handed a £2,000 fine in April after being caught behind the wheel of his Land Rover after a few beers at a lads’ night. The 25-year-old is also known the be battling a gambling addiction.
10 Eirik Bakke
The then Leeds United midfielder was fined £5,000 plus £1,000 costs for drink-driving in 2003. The Norwegian allegedly pretended to police officers that his English was poor to delay his breath test after being stopped close to his home in Alwoodley, Leeds.

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  1. Mark says:

    dunno if he drunk + drove but maybe Paul Merson, renowned drug addict and alcoholic

  2. Bryan Flockhart says:

    Sem to remember something about Jan Molby and running off.
    Alan Sunderland did he kill two people?
    Essien isnt being charged is he?

  3. mof gimmers says:

    Two Words.

  4. Pav says:

    Did the most odious man in football, El Hadji Diouf get done for drink driving?

  5. Anonymous says:

    Sammy Mcilroy
    Norman Whiteside
    Bryan Robson
    Stuart Pearce
    Nolberto Solano
    Jan ‘suspenders’ Molby
    Paul ‘ooh aah crashed the car’ McGrath
    Mick Quinn