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Sticky-faced urchins: Wayne Rooney back in court

Plus: Daniel Sturridge on the run and the West Ham prodigy turned criminal mastermind

💬 Quote of the day

“At 20 years old I was still drinking milk from my mother.” - Gianfranco Zola


👨‍⚖️ A Roo beginning

When sketches emerged of Wayne Rooney looking like a bearded potato at the Wagatha Christie trial, everybody laughed.

But it turns out Wayne’s time in court had a striking effect on him.

In a new documentary about the trial, Wayne’s wife Coleen explains he became completely obsessed with the case, joining meetings with her lawyers and advising her defence team on lines of argument.

"Wayne started suggesting legal arguments that we should start running" recalled lawyer Jamie Hurworth, before clarifying that Wayne was "not a modern day Columbo."

Nevertheless, Coleen claims Wayne was so enthused by his time in court that he decided "he was then going to apply for law school".

Fair play, although his Twitter account won’t fill clients with hope.


🐶 Out of Lucci

If Wazza is looking to get his burgeoning legal career off the ground, he might find a client in former England teammate Daniel Sturridge.

For the past four years, Daniel has been embroiled in a legal battle with an LA rapper called Killa Fame, who claims Sturridge owes him £26,000.

Back in 2019, Sturridge offered the cash as a reward after his dog Lucci (not sure how that’s pronounced - both versions are awful) was stolen in a burglary of his home in LA.

Killa says he found and returned the Pomeranian to Sturridge, but the striker refused to cough up.

After a year-long legal battle, a court in LA ordered the ex-Liverpool man to pay, but Daniel refused, insisting he already “met a young boy who found my dog and paid him a reward.”

Two years on, Killa Fame is still chasing his reward, and LA magistrates have now issued an arrest warrant for Sturridge

If only he knew a good lawyer…


🏺 Citizen Kaine

West Ham has always been an old school cockney club. The sort of place where sticky-faced urchins kick severed cats heads across the terraces, and East End crime families lure fans into crooked gambling dens.

And it turns out that spirit lives on among the side’s former players.

While their London rivals send retired stars off to present the One Show, ex-Hammers are plotting heists of priceless Ming vases.

Former West Ham academy player Kaine Wright was arrested this week after trying to flog a "rare pomegranate vase from the Yongle Period (1403-1425AD)".

The £1.9million antique was stolen in a robbery at a Swiss museum in 2019, and was feared lost until one of Wright’s bumbling accomplices fired off an email to an auction house in Hong Kong asking for a valuation.

What would the Krays say?


🎙️ David Beckham: the story Netflix won’t tell you

David Beckham is a national treasure.

But behind the good looks and penchant for queueing lurks a world class shagger.

From knobbing his PA to the “stag do of the millennium”, meet the real David Beckham on the latest, record-breaking episode of The Upshot podcast.


💪 And I can do triple somersaults on my BMX

New Zealand’s rugby team always loved flaunting their macho energy.

So when a Land Rover blocked the path of their coach, the All Blacks seized their chance for some pre-semi final dick swinging.

Bet the girls in the year above will think that’s really cool.


 🧘 Oh don’t mind Daniel, he’s just cutting my toenails

Business meetings used to be dry, stuffy affairs where old men in blazers and cufflinks sipped tumblers of whisky and signed contracts with feather quills.

But in the age of casual cool, you’re more likely to meet a bloke with a mocha and a dressing gown than a cigar and a three-piece suit.

And then there are free-wheeling libertines like Tony Fernandes.

The ex-QPR and Lotus F1 owner posted a sweaty picture of himself on LinkedIn this week, with a caption explaining “I can have a massage and do a management meeting”.

💉 Quick hits

🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 As Argentina prepare for their World Cup semi final tonight, here’s an incredible clip of an Argentine fan breaking into fluent Welsh.

📉 After only playing one match all season, Nick Kyrgios now has no ATP tour points and has dropped out of the world rankings.

🧹 World number six Holger Rune has hired Boris Becker as his new coach.

🍿 Al Hilal announced Neymar’s season-ending ACL injury with a bizarre graphic of the striker writhing in pain.

📺 Sport on TV

Rugby World Cup, semi final
• New Zealand v Argentina (8pm, ITV)

Cricket World Cup
• Australia v Pakistan (9.30am, Sky Sports)

Championship football
• Rotherham v Ipswich (8pm, Sky Sports)

Formula 1
• US Grand Prix, qualifying (10pm, Sky Sports)

Rugby World Cup, semi final
• England v South Africa (8pm, Sky Sports)

Cricket World Cup
• Netherlands v Sri Lanka (6am, Sky Sports)
• England v South Africa (9.30am, Sky Sports)

Premier League football
• Liverpool v Everton (12pm, TNT Sports)
• Chelsea v Arsenal (5.30pm, Sky Sports)
• Sheffield Utd v Man Utd (8pm, Sky Sports)

Women’s Super League
• Leicester v Man City (5.15pm, BBC)

Formula 1
• US Grand Prix, sprint (6.30pm & 11pm, Sky Sports)

Premiership rugby
• Leicester v Sale (3.05pm, TNT Sports)

Premier League football
• Aston Villa v West Ham (4.30pm, Sky Sports)

Formula 1
• US Grand Prix (8pm, Sky Sports)

Cricket World Cup
• India v New Zealand (9.30am, Sky Sports)

Women’s Super League
• Bristol v Arsenal (6.45pm, Sky Sports)

Premiership rugby
• Harlequins v Exeter (3pm, TNT Sports)


🤷‍♂️ When you gotta go…

Tulane Green Wave’s DJ Douglas takes a moment during his side’s defeat against Memphis.

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