Nobby Stiles sells World Cup medal for less than Wayne Rooney’s weekly wage: where’s the justice?!!

October 28, 2010

If there is a Footballing God, he works in a very mysterious way, and must be called “Injustice”. For as Wayne Rooney, having re-negotiated his Manchester United contract last week,  holidays in a seven star hotel in Dubai on full pay; ex Manchester United hero Nobby Stiles was forced to sell his 1966 World Cup medal for less than Rooney has earned on his holiday!! The World Cup medal, that represents a lifetime achievement finally went for £160,000; small change to Wayne Rooney.

Nobby Stiles, who’s only motivation for the sale of his memorabilia was to secure his children’s future, made a total of £424,438 from the auction at the Royal Highland Centre in Edinburgh. The collection included not only his 1966 World Cup cap, which went for more than £35,000, but also the blue Manchester United shirt he wore when winning the European Cup final against Benfica, which was sold for £30,582. In addition, Alan Ball’s 1966 World Cup final shirt, which Stiles acquired from his team-mate as a swap after the match, was sold for nearly £52,000.

Manchester United were the recipients of Nobby Stiles’ World Cup and European Cup winners medals: whether this was an act of charity by the club is a moot point. What would have been a fitting and noble gesture would have been for Wayne Rooney to have put down his glass of champagne, arisen from his sun lounger and picked up his mobile phone and bid for the medals himself, with view to donating them to the Trophy Room at Old Trafford. This might have gone some way to healing the wounds he caused by his ungracious and disloyal behaviour last week, to Alex Ferguson, his team mates, the fans and the directors of the club. This would have been a positive PR  move as a gesture of thanks to all those who have  supported him, and helped his career for the past six years. Surely Rooney’s agent, Paul Stretford, has an obligation to his client beyond negotiating multimillion pound contracts? Is it not also his responsibility and role to guide the player in terms of public relations and PR crisis management, in the interests of damage limitation?

A gesture like this would also have gone a little way to appease the England fans, he arrogantly criticised for their boos after the Algeria game in the World Cup. Unlike “Whingeing, Whining Wayne”, Nobby Stiles and his England team mates, not only won a World Cup, but then went on to act as humble, modest ambassadors for the game they loved, with no expectation of financial rewards.

Wayne Rooney, as discussed in a previous article on this Blog, needs to learn the lesson that with privilege comes responsibility. He needs to take a lead from the humility and decency displayed by  former Manchester United icons Nobby Stiles, Bobby Charlton and David Beckham, who have all put a huge amount back into the game. Until he does this, he will remain alienated by Manchester United and England fans alike, and the public in general who resent his boorish, spoiled brat behaviour, whilst we mere mortals suffer in an age of great austerity and sacrifice. If he fails to take heed of the warning, maybe another Footballing God, “Justice”, will intervene and mete out a fitting punishment!!

Comments are closed.