Contrary to public opinion......Craig Bellamy is a twatCraig Bellamy is football’s loveable rogue, a cheeky chappy, a modern day Tom Sawyer. If he isn’t bunking off training or playing pirates with Huckleberry Finn then he’s getting cautioned for assaulting a female student outside a night club in Newcastle.
He has played for 8 clubs, with over 300 players and has made nearly 2 friends - among them Mark Hughes and, at time of writing, possibly Roberto Mancini. The list goes on.
Craig concentrated on merely playing football for Norwich, then Coventry, with few signs of the all round entertainer he was to become. But as he left Coventry he gave a hint of the talent he had by firing this witty parting shot, “I didn't like the club. The ground was rubbish, everything was rubbish. [After Norwich it] was a massive step down for me."
Times were tough at Newcastle as the players and fans were having to cope with yet another false dawn. Thankfully Craig arrived to keep them entertained with what turned out to be career high tom foolery.
In his time there he managed to clock up three alleged racially motivated nightclub assaults, had to be pulled apart from a slapstick fight with Newcastle coach John Carver, feigned injury then called Graeme Souness a liar on live television and to top it all off was cautioned for assaulting 20 year old student Charlotte Smith.
But all good things must come to an end and whole of Tyneside was sorry to see him go on loan to Celtic.
While he was at Celtic, Newcastle lost to Manchester United in the FA Cup semi Final. Despite not being part of the squad any more, Craig still had the common decency to send some good natured joshing via text message to the Newcastle dressing room. He told Shearer, “Your legs are gone. You're too old. You're too slow” and “You couldn't even kiss my arse.”
It was exactly the kind of japery that was needed and the whole team agreed that Bellamy’s messages more than made up for missing out on playing in the FA Cup Final.
His time at Blackburn had been largely incredibly boring as curmudgeon Mark Hughes banned Craig from assaulting people in night clubs. But once at Liverpool his comedic skills were called upon once more.
They were struggling to live up to the expectations that winning the European Cup brings and the tension was palpable. Craig tried out a new shenanigan he’d been working on and attacked John Arne Riise with a golf club.
It brought the house down so, as an encore, Craig got involved in a night club fracas in Cardiff where he decided to allegedly assault two women.
After a spell at West Ham, where all he managed was a mini one-man strike, Craig continued to behave at City. It seemed like he had lost his spark.
When City played Arsenal, Emanuel Adebayor played the most Bellamy-esque game of his life with high jinks including running the length of the pitch to celebrate in front his old fans and kicking his former team-mate Robin Van Persie in the face. In all of this Craig played mediator, leaving millions worried his capers were behind him and that he was passing his court jester crown over to Adebayor.
These worries were short-lived however as the very next week Craig rose to the occasion in the Manchester Derby. After Michael Owen scored the latest winner in history, emotions were running high on the terraces and one United fan made his way onto the pitch.
But cometh the hour, cometh the man. Luckily Bellamy was alert to the trouble and quick as a flash quipped, “Get off the fucking pitch you fucking knobhead.” Then, proving that his comic timing hadn’t left him, he waited until the fan was securely restrained by two stewards before punching him in the face.
Hilarity ensued and Bellamy had diffused a difficult situation, sending the city fans home happy despite losing to their bitter rivals in the thirty-seventh minute of injury time.
British football watchers were delighted on 16 January 2010 when, during Manchester City's 2-0 defeat away to Everton, Bellamy was tackled with a Cruyff turn by bush-headed Belgian behemoth Marouane Fellaini. This resulted in Bellamy looking like a total ringpiece. Commentators across all sports coverage networks were sympathetic towards Bellamy, and in no way jeered at the Welsh thug.
Unlike many players, Craig has managed to reproduce his club form at International level where he’s regularly criticised team-mates, gone AWOL from training after one of his trademark alleged night club fracases and even been dragged away by staff from berating a Welsh fan who had spent hundreds of pounds to travel hundred of miles to watch them lose 1-0 to Poland.
"I don't want to make any fuss about it,” said Craig afterwards, before going on to make a fuss about it. “It always seems to be me, though. It’s me that always seems to get picked on” he deadpanned to camera.
Craig is thought to be working on an elaborate new prank to play on new boss Roberto Mancini involving some Rohypnol, a snooker cue and a whoopee cushion, followed by a large scale player revolt.