Genteel football fans up and down the country have reacted with disgust to Wayne Rooney’s curse-laden outburst this weekend in a match against West Ham. The normally eloquent Manchester United footballer swore into a TV camera after scoring a hat-trick which left many parents pondering the long-term effects on their impressionable children, many of whom had struggled to stay up till 10.30pm to watch Match of the Day.
Host of the programme, Gary Lineker, apologised immediately after showing the incident in full in their edited highlights package, while his erudite pundits tried to come to terms with the evil deed they had just watched for the eighth time that day.
One typically aggrieved viewer was Steve Winkworth from Oldham who was watching with his son Connor, aged 6. “I couldn’t believe what me and Connor had to endure, and we sat there open-mouthed as I replayed it over and over on my Sky+ box.
“It wouldn’t be so bad, but since I’m so rarely around for the little lad, Match of the Day has become one of the few things we can bond over. And most of his language skills to this point owe a huge debt to the footballers he watches on a Saturday night, which makes you wonder whether the BBC really values my son’s education. Also, footballers should understand their responsibilities as role models for our young children. Who else is going to teach my boy the right way to behave when he’s older?”
Wayne Rooney was quick to apologise via his agent, Paul Stretford, who tried to play down the incident. “Wayne is very sorry for what happened, particularly as he is such a keen linguist whose dip in form this season is almost entirely explained by a tough academic challenge he set himself last year. He wants to be able to swear in all 66 languages that are represented in the Premier League.
“The European languages were a doddle as he’d picked up many of their expletives as a kid. But the pronunciation required to curse in some of the African and Asian languages has caused my client a few problems. For instance, last week he accidentally ended up in a massage parlour after trying to tell a Chinese taxi driver where to go.”