Entertainment

Remembering the car-crash brilliance of MTV’s Footballers’ 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.

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

    Chris Waddle

    An all-time classic; many people thought that Waddle effortlessly gliding up and down the wing was due to his footballing skill. Not the case. Defenders were simply mesmerised by his terrible mullet.

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    Kevin Pietersen

    Talented? Yes. Sometimes a bit brash? Also yes. And not helped by this early dyed skunk haircut. This is just not cricket Kevin.

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    Taribo West

    Everyone remembers Taribo West's ridiculous green...things...on the top of his head. They just look stupid. Why, Taribo, why?

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    Andre Agassi

    You just don't get photos like this any more, do you. If you can take your eyes off Andre's chest rug for a second, you'll also see some terrible untamed locks. God had his revenge on him though when baldness set in shortly afterwards. If you can't use it properly, then you can't use it at all.

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    Giovanni Simeone

    Words simply fail us on this. So we'll say no more and try to forget we've ever seen this monstrosity.

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    David Seaman

    Oh David, you had such smart hair for a while. And the 'tache was always excellent. But the ponytail? No, no and thrice no. The sight of Seaman falling back, helplessly trying to reach Ronaldinho's cross-shot in 2002 was made a hundred times worse by this haircut following it into the net.

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    David Beckham

    We'll be fair to you David - most of your style efforts have been very, very good. And very few men look better in a suit than you do. But when it goes wrong, it goes very wrong, and this mohican was definitely one to forget.

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    Andy Murray

    Long before his Wimbledon triumph, Andy Murray was a gangly youngster with terrible, wild hair. Little tip from us young Andy - get a decent haircut and you'll start doing really well. Don't ask us how we know, just go with us.

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    Ronaldo

    Voted the worst haircut of all time by The Sun and we're not going to disagree. This 2002-era triangular nonsense looked awful, but didn't stop the real Ronaldo doing the business on the pitch as Brazil took home the World Cup.

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    Djibril Cissé

    Cissé is a man of extremes in dress sense, behaviour and, above all else, hairstyles. And, without fail, they all look terrible. It looks like a toddler has drawn on him in white crayon.

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    Bobby Charlton

    One from the archives: Bobby, growing a few strands of hair really long does not mean you've still got a full head of hair.

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    Carlos Valderrama

    Memorably described by one commentator during Italia '90 as a 'human floormop', this is just wildly out of control. A magnificent player with a magnificent 'tache, but this is just too much Carlos.

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    Tim Tebow

    Star quarterback Tim Tebow went for 'the monk' just to remind us all why no-one tends to go in for this haircut unless you want to spend a great deal of every day alone and in contemplation.

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    Barry Venison

    Wanted: Barry Venison. For the twin crimes of terrible suits and a shocking mullet. Alive (and preferably sheared).

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    Cristiano Ronaldo

    Cristiano Ronaldo is just too smooth. And this partially highlighted quiff effort is far too TOWIE for our liking.

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    David Gower

    Like Andre, earlier in the gallery, you just don't get photos like this any more. Gower may have been an elegant striker of the ball, but his hair was reminiscent of a woolly jumper. Far too fluffy.

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    Chris Waddle (2)

    A second appearance for Mr Waddle on the list, and it pains us to say that this was probably worse than the mullet. Gone is the party at the back, but it appears to have moved to the middle and become a square block. Just shocking.

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    David Beckham (2)

    Likewise, Mr Beckham appears for the second time, with these awful cornrows. Not good David.

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    Abel Xavier

    Abel Xavier has had a succession of shocking haircuts and this is one of the very best/worst: it looks like an ice cream on your head my friend.

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    Dennis Rodman

    Rodman is a man who likes to experiment with his hair, almost always with dire consequences. Get rid of the green and he could be a Bradford City mascot though.

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    Gervinho

    This shocking 'comb-forward-but-then-part-in-the-middle-and-couple-with-a-headband' effort is almost certainly the main reason Arsenal sold the Brazilian star this summer. Unforgivable.

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    Jason Lee

    He's got a pineapple on his head.

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    Lasith Malinga

    This is a mess Lasith. Get a sensible haircut right now.

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    Neymar

    A dreadful effort from the Brazilian Neymar, who's had a few shockers in his time. There's a mullet back, an asymmetrical fringe and the top is stuck up. He must be having a laugh, surely?

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    Djibril Cissé (2)

    We warned you Djibril. We warned you and you didn't listen.