London At 10.29 a.m. on a bright but otherwise unremarkable Wednesday morning, Britain changed forever. The catalyst was not another development in the country’s unending Brexit saga, which had dominated newsstands for three years but instantly fell into irrelevance on that autumnal day. Instead, the landmark moment arose from a single tweet from the wife of a star footballer. Here is one of the nation’s most famous footballing wives — a staple of tabloid front pages for more than a decade — accusing a similarly established celebrity of a years-long program of deception.
Wives of English football stars embroiled in social media spat over ‘leaked stories’ Twitter erupted. Netflix admitted it would need to make a documentary about the drama — and Keira Knightley threw her hat into the ring to play Coleen in a film adaptation. It may never be known how many billions in lost productivity the spat has cost Britain. Vardy subsequently denied the allegations and suggested someone else may have used her account.
But the fight turned brutal as celebrities and members of the public alike started taking sides. Vardy was asked in an interview by the Daily Mail whether the two women have argued about the incident. «That would be like arguing with a pigeon,» she replied. Still, to international observers, WAGgate — or Wagatha Christie, as it also became known — threw up more questions than answers.
Ever since, footballers’ partners have battled for ascendance in the WAG hierarchy — and, whether they want it or not, have been followed by the glare of tabloid attention. The public fascination came to a head during the 2006 World Cup, when an army of WAGs accompanied the England football team to Germany. WAGs were banned from the next World Cup but their legend has lived on. Sure, there have been spats before, but the WAG is usually seen in the media as a relatively homogeneous demographic, with individual disputes rarely coming to the surface.
WAGs tend to focus on their own ventures, and calling out colleagues only invites more attention from the press. Cheryl Tweedy of Girls Aloud and footballer Ashley Cole, in a 2006 photoshoot that went down in WAG lore. What’s more, the magnitude of this row is elevated by the status of those involved. Coleen Rooney is WAG royalty, arguably the most likely heir to Beckham’s crown should the fashion designer decide to abdicate her throne.
And Rebekah, thanks mostly to her cockroach-consuming stint on jungle-based reality show «I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!,» is a household name in her own right. That’s why this latest conflict has erupted into a Suez-sized scandal — and why everyone from Rebekah’s fellow jungle contestants to Coleen’s cab drivers has been approached for comment from a delirious British media. Remarkably, not yet — but you can be sure they’ll be asked for comment the moment they’re near a microphone. Wayne, unlike more than 300,000 fascinated observers, hasn’t even liked Coleen’s tweet, despite being active on the platform.
Jamie, who has shown solidarity with his wife through the «Like» button, has a fortuitously timed international break in the football calendar in which to lie low. But neither can hide forever. The pair have played together for England on several occasions, though both players are now retired from international football. But should they come to blows over the row, it could get bitter.
Vardy, after all, is known among football fans for the punctuation-free slogan «chat s**t get banged,» which he once reportedly posted on social media. « I’ll be waiting,» in a tweet he inexplicably sent to himself.
Click here to read the full article