David Parkin on the issues dogging WAGs

David Parkin on the issues dogging WAGs

FORGET Brexit. There is no doubting the big story of the week. Coleen Rooney’s spat with fellow footballer’s wife Rebekah Vardy. If you’re not familiar with the details of this story then allow me to elucidate the matter. The wife of Wayne Rooney took to Twitter to claim that the spouse of Leicester striker Jamie Vardy has been leaking stories from her Instagram account to The Sun newspaper. Bear with me. It took five months of painstaking detective work by Coleen to track down the miscreant, which must have seriously eaten into the time available for her to go on holiday. Rebekah Vardy has denied the claims and instructed lawyers over the matter. The Sun brilliantly headlined this argy bargy between footballers wives as WAGGRO! Apparently Coleen successfully tracked down the culprit by blocking all except one person from viewing stories on her Instagram account. She then posted fictitious stories on the social media site such as her going on Strictly Come Dancing, opting for gender selection in Mexico for her next child and the big one – her basement flooding. All of these apparently appeared in The Sun newspaper – and the only person who could view them was Rebekah Vardy, meaning she was the culprit, according to Coleen. But she says it wasn’t her. The hullabaloo saw normally serious news outlets embracing the story with gusto – Radio 4’s Today programme interviewed a footballer’s wife who appears on The Real Housewives of Cheshire – which is probably more to do with Brexit fatigue than the importance of this particular issue. Things got serious when that intellectual titan...
David Parkin on Harrogate welcoming the world and a powerhouse performance

David Parkin on Harrogate welcoming the world and a powerhouse performance

THE slogan adopted by the town where cycling’s UCI Road World Championships took place last week was: “Harrogate Welcomes The World”. Although for those of us who know Harrogate and those who live there, that motto could have been caveated with the words: “But make sure you are polite, form orderly queues and don’t drop litter on the Stray.” The spa town did actually lay on a great welcome for the biggest sporting event in the UK this year, even if the weather hadn’t quite bought into the deal that Yorkshire should be at its best. The week-long event enjoyed two gloriously sunny days and several days of torrential rain. The worst of the weather was reserved for the event’s climax, the men’s elite road race on Sunday. It tipped it down all day meaning the start in Leeds was slightly delayed while parts of the route had to be altered because of flooding, including missing out on Buttertubs, iconic from its role in the Tour de France Grand Depart. But that didn’t stop thousands of people lining the route and heading for the climax in Harrogate where the drenched riders did nine laps around the town centre as enthusiastic crowds under brollies and waterproofs cheered with vigour. When I mentioned to a local resident that I had never seen so many cagoules in Harrogate I received a clipped answer: “They must have been tourists.” Apparently the required uniform is a Schöffel gilet. It is a German clothing brand beloved of the country sporting set but worn by a much wider constituency, including many whose only experience of shooting...