Victims of football

The football - probably the greatest toy ever invented.

If played with properly, it can control an entire nation. At its best, football matches bring people together from different walks of life on a stage that is enjoyed by millions. Even a World War has been postponed, albeit on Christmas Day, just for a chance to get one up over the other side on the pitch.

But what is it about the football that turns so many footballers into hooligans, adulterers and petty criminals?

The latest tabloid scalp is lanky England striker Peter Crouch who this week has been banished to the world's longest sofa. This is a man who was once asked what he would be if he wasn't a footballer and he replied: "A virgin".

A laughable-looking figure, he endeareed himself to the hearts of many with his Robot dance four years ago after scoring a goal but there has been no such acrobatics after claims that he scored with a teenage prositute. Then there's poor Abbey, Crounchie's wife-to-be, who always appears nothing short of stunning and has no shame in actually genuinely liking the 6ft 6in striker.

But what a woman to turn to in your hour of need, Toni Terry, the wife of former England captain John Terry, another footballer who likes to make a running jump into an opponents box. Another great scoop prior to England's woeful World Cup campaign.

More examples of foul footballers include Scouse Wayne Rooney and his public urinating and striker Marlon King who has apparently turned to faith to help him get over punching a woman at a nightclub, after allegedly saying: "I can buy you".

I know plenty of footballers who are great lads and interviewed more who at the very least appear genuine. So what happens to them - is it the money, the fame or the status that has such a psychological impact? Or should women already know what they are letting themselves in for a la Ashley Cole?