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Remembering the car-crash brilliance of MTV's Footballers' Cribs

harry kewell mtv cribs

When MTV Cribs ran out of rappers, pop stars and NFL players, they set their sights on the Premiership. Davey Brett remembers its untouched brilliance...

Long before it slipped into one big Catfish and Teen Mom marathon and some time after it still played music videos, MTV boasted one show that defined the boom and Blair generation: MTV Cribs.

Cribs left a generation yearning for well-stocked fridges, the Scarface deluxe DVD box set and a back garden skate park, as well as the chance to refer to their own bed as ‘where the magic happens’ on camera. Soon, after peeking inside every crib that mattered from London to Los Angeles, MTV found a new set of big-earning, aspirational demagogues whose houses they could snoop around.

Footballers.

The formula was the same, except the clientele were slightly different. Viewers weren’t treated to a tour of Thierry Henry’s penthouse or Steven Gerrard’s Formby dwelling. World beaters were minimal. The nearest the show got to the footballing elite was a first episode that mooched around the homes of Harry Kewell and Roberto Di Matteo.

Instead, the rest of the series played out like a middle-aged Panini collector’s wet dream. Former Spurs keeper Kasey Keller’s German castle, Charlton Athletic defender (and Goal.com’s second best South African footballer player of all time, after Quinton Fortune) Mark Fish’s mock dungeon, West Ham loanee Lionel Scaloni’s Docklands rooftop hot tub and Wigan Athletic and Jamaica international Damien Francis’ hooded-linen-button-down shirt all received the MTV Cribs treatment with Emmerdale’s very own Tricia Dingle (Sheree Murphy, Harry Kewell’s wife) on presenting duties for the second series.


The worst hairstyles in football history

The pinnacle of both series was arguably an episode featuring Leicester City goalkeeper and hair enthusiast Ian Walker B2B with lower league poacher Ashley Ward. The latter, leading cameras around a house that was surprisingly large for a man who would only manage 5 in 33 for Sheffield United.

Alas, years have passed since series one and two were last screened and very little evidence remains on the internet except the odd dated forum post.

Oh yeah, and these three episodes on Youtube:


Harry Kewell

Back when having a Hummer was cool, Harry Kewell had one. He also treated his wife Sheree to a TV on a remote-controlled bracket, perhaps as a thank you gesture for buying him the sword from the film Braveheart. Other highlights include a Lord of the Rings pinball machine and a bath that required a crane to get it upstairs.

Shola Ameobi

Footballers' Cribs at its finest. Look no further than the lounge. A coffee table (possibly reduced at the Gadget Shop) that lights up, ‘giving a fantastic effect at night’, a carpet that looks like a Rorschach chart and a lowered ceiling inspired by ‘bars’. Also begs the question, did Shola Ameobi invent the photo canvas?

Luis Boa Morte

The most modest crib of the series from a man that once celebrated a goal by taking his shirt off, hanging it on a corner flag and then waving it around by the pole. Luis drives up in a Corsa, owns one suit (his Fulham one) and doesn’t use his garden, making him a one-man Cribs anti-thesis.

Never forget.

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