Jamie Carragher today said that he regrets the ‘five seconds of madness’ when he spat at a 14-year-old girl which has led to him being suspended by Sky Sports.
TELEVISION pundit and former England footballer Jamie Carragher has apologised to a 14-year-old girl for appearing to spit at her after Manchester United beat Liverpool 2-1 at Old Trafford on Saturday.
The teenage United fan was in the passenger seat of the car her father was driving when he chirped the former Liverpool legend about the game. When the driver repeatedly mentioned the score, Carragher is heard to say, “Alright”, before appearing to spit at the car alongside his. The incident, recorded by the girl’s father, ends with the girl saying to her father that Carragher’s spittle had hit her in the face.
The former Liverpool and England admitted his actions were ‘disgusting’ and he will not appear on Monday Night Football this evening.
His £1million-a-year Sky Sports contract hangs in the balance and he has also been axed by Danish channel TV3 Sport after he was due to cover the match between Manchester United and Sevilla tomorrow night.
And in an explosive interview with Sky News, he said: ‘It was a moment of madness, it’s difficult to explain, it was almost an out of body thing but you can’t ever behave like that, it’s unacceptable.’
‘That is my biggest regret is for the 14-year-old girl to be caught in the middle of it.
‘That devastates me more than anything. I’ve got a daughter exactly the same age and I can’t say how I’d react if someone did that to her.’
The 40-year-old was pulled from the Danish channel’s line-up and Sky Sports bosses have decided he will not appear on MNF with fellow pundit Gary Neville following crunch talks.
Carragher arrived in London today to discuss his job and claims he ‘did not see’ the schoolgirl before he spat at her father’s car from the window of his Range Rover.
The unnamed girl told the Mirror: ‘I have never been spat at by anyone before. I thought, ‘Why has he done that’. I thought I had done something wrong.
‘People in school take the mick and it is just a laugh. Someone like him who is older should be able to take a joke.’
She was left in tears after his saliva hit her in the face and said he should have ‘taken it as a joke’ when her father shouted ‘2-1, 2-1, unlucky Jamie lad, 2-1 lad’ following Liverpool’s loss to Manchester United on Saturday.
Carragher, who is worth around £15million, said today: ‘I’ll speak to the family again. I’m sorry. I’ll apologise again today properly.
‘I didn’t (see the girl), to be honest, she was leant back. I wish she wasn’t involved. I hate that she was involved more than anything.’
The girl’s 38-year-old mother was ‘extremely angry’ and said that what Carragher did was the ‘lowest of the low’.
She added: ‘I was extremely angry and disappointed that he could even bring himself to do something like that. Looking at her, you know she is a child.
‘What did she do wrong? She did not do anything wrong. Spitting at someone is the lowest of the low. It is disgusting. In all the years I’ve watched football, isn’t it all about banter?’
Meanwhile, former football hardman Vinnie Jones branded Carragher ‘absolute filth’ and is leading calls for him to lose his pundit job.
Carragher is also facing a backlash online with hundreds of football fans demanding that Sky sack the pundit.
The shocking video was filmed after the former defender had been covering Saturday’s match between his old club and Manchester United at Old Trafford.
He was driving home alone when he and was being filmed by the driver, who told the Mirror he was ‘having a bit of banter’.
But in a moment of madness, the scene turned ugly and Carragher inexplicably spat towards the car in which the young girl was being driven, with saliva hitting her in the face, causing her to cry.
Hollywood actor Jones – who played for Wimbledon, Leeds and Chelsea – said Carragher is a ‘coward’ and needs to ‘get down the job centre’.
Speaking to presenter Alan Brazil on TalkSport, Jones said: ‘It is cowardly. How has the lad driving it not driven after Jamie, rammed him, dragged him out of the car and beat seven… you know what I mean.
‘If someone spat at my daughter sitting in the car, I would have been after them.