SPORTS stars at the top of their game are renowned for their strict training regimes and healthy lifestyles.
However, away from the limelight can lie a darker side, with sleazy hook-ups, all-night drug sessions and gambling, often arranged by the very people paid to keep the stars’ images looking squeaky clean – their publicists.
Speaking exclusively to Sun Online, three current and former industry insiders expose the highs and lows of being at the beck and call of some of the UK’s most famous faces.
‘It was inevitable we were going to sleep together’
The showbiz world is rife with twenty-something women hooking up with famous older men.
Rebecca* spent three years booking talent for a hit football show, including current and former Premier League and England stars.
She was 24 when she secured the London-based role, adding: “I was young, ambitious and living in one of the best cities in the world with a job that saw me interacting with footballers my family and I had grown up watching on the TV.
“Life was surreal – my job was to look after my, and millions of others’, childhood heroes.
“I’d book the players for the show, sometimes with transport and accommodation. They would arrive, do their part and then we would have a laugh and quite often hit the bar.”
Rebecca, originally from the North West, revealed how flirting was common and alcohol only upped the ante.
She says: “One player who was a Premier League and England star in the 1990s and ’00s had his eye on me from the first time we met.
“He was older, sharply dressed and totally different to the lads my age. It was inevitable we were going to sleep together – and we did on the second time I booked him on the show.
“He was married but affairs between ex-players and make-up artists or presenters and producers was just one of those things. It just happened.
“It’s not just the players who are cheating, many of the other members of the team are in relationships.
“But in that world, with the overnight hotels, plenty of expensive boozing, endless flirting and countless charming men, anything goes.”
‘He’d beg me for oral sex’
While many players appeared to be experienced when chatting up women, Rebecca told how some still made shamelessly lewd sexual suggestions.
She explained: “Yes, some footballers are still old codgers with a backwards and pervy way of thinking. Things haven’t improved too much.
“Others – mainly the ones below 45 years old – are considerate and an absolute riot.
“Although one former striker used to beg me to perform oral sex on him every time he was p****d, which was pretty much every time he did a show.”
‘You’d do the show then go back and s**g’
She claims away days, where the crew would set up in a football stadium outside of London, such as Old Trafford in Manchester or Anfield in Liverpool, were notorious for booze and sex.
She added: “It was just get your hotel, do the show, get to the boozer and go back to the room for a s**g.
“All former and current footballers are at it, even the married and goodie goodie ones who say they aren’t. All of them.
“I got lost in it all, the first couple of years were amazing and I couldn’t believe this was my life.
“But what goes up, must come down, as they say. And I did.”
Rebecca earned just under £30,000 for her role – meaning with London rent, bills and other living expenses she came out with around £150-per-week to live on.
“Most of that was going up my nose,” she revealed, referencing her cocaine use. “The partying is great, the travelling is better and the celebrity lifestyle is incredible.
“But I couldn’t afford to keep doing it.
“Some players would enjoy a line or two, as did some of the presenters.
“I was supplying it, others on set were supplying it or sometimes the players’ agents or managers had their own.
“I could go through maybe five or six grams in a particularly heavy fortnight.
“I couldn’t afford to go on and my life was suffering. I had to take a step back and go for a calmer role.
“Footballers were just too wild.”
‘Drugs, booze and sex go hand in hand with the showbiz world’
Rebecca, now in her thirties, still works in TV but tends to shy away from the relentless partying.
“Now I’m more into daytime TV and working with soapstars, things have calmed down,” she says.
“There’s still plenty of drugs, booze and s*****g, it goes hand-in-hand with the showbiz world.
“But I’ve filled my boots, I don’t need that lifestyle anymore.”
Aside from the usual vices, our other insider told how gambling is the number one cause for concern among footballers and sports stars.
Adam* worked at two top flight English footie clubs’ marketing departments before quitting for sunny Qatar.
He claimed the dressing room camaraderie and competitiveness extended to TV studios, club events and even days down the pub.
Gambling and smashing up furniture
Adam said: “There are strict rules preventing people involved in football – whether that’s current players, owners or shareholders – from betting on the game.
“However, once a player retires, they’re free and they really go for it.
“I used to deal with the players on a daily basis during pre-season and apart from the odd scandal of theirs being exposed in a newspaper there wasn’t much in the way of drama.
“But the former players and club ambassadors were a nightmare.
“These were blokes in their 40s or 50s, many of them who had won trophies at club and country level, who were just children.
“They needed rooms booking for them, hire cars, suits pressing, room service ordering and so on and so on.
“They would turn up to breakfast and boast about who had the best betting tips for the day – but by midnight they’d be propping up a bar in tears as the other ex-players goaded them.
“One player, who is foreign but stayed in England after retiring around ten years ago, would think nothing of dropping £10,000 to £15,000 per bet.
“He would play on the football, the horses, the cricket, the NBA Finals, the golf, anything.
“He was in deep with money problems but it was an obsession. An unhealthy one at that, because when he won it was all big smiles and hugs.
“When he lost it was a different story. He’d refused to leave his hotel room, smashed furniture and have blow out rows with colleagues.
“He never, ever told his wife what he was up to – just like many footballers.”
‘It turned into one enormous orgy’
Nor is he the only star playing away.
Lauren* works as a PR manager for a firm that specialises in food and hospitality, reveals how a boxer would organise sex-fuelled escapades in Dubai behind his wife’s back.
The 28-year-old has worked her way up through the ranks of the business, which has offices in Manchester, London and Dubai.
She told how she introduced a close friend in the UAE party city to the boxer ahead of a trip.
Lauren added: “He said it was a chance to get away, to enjoy some warm weather in between fights and to explore business opportunities.
“I thought great, he’s not the first guy with a bit of money to look at Dubai to invest in.
“Its restaurant and nightclub scene is booming, I knew a guy who was in with a lot of the big places that could make things work. So I set them up.
“However, it just turned into one enormous orgy and freebie for the boxer.
“He wanted us to arrange a complimentary hotel suite, set up meetings with restaurant owners for free food and then act as a go between for him and two friends to pick up girls.
“And, that’s what he got. He was a potentially huge client for us with scope for huge business and we had to cater for it.
“He was there for three nights, slept with at least three girls and had around £15,000 worth of free stuff. He didn’t have any interest in building a business whatsoever, it was a ruse for his wife.
“Thankfully I was never part of his seedy ways, but when it comes to others they jump right in.
“There’s a fine line between work and play.
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“Most PRs and agents are on low to middle pay so having a taste of the ‘money’s no object’ lifestyle is exhilarating.
“It’s like going to a party where there’s a free bar, multiplied by one thousand.
“That one-off free bar when you’re new into your first job becomes common.
“So, the travel become more exciting. Then it’s the sex, or the drugs.
“It’s no wonder so many quit eventually – it’s a crazy world.”
*Names have been changed to protect identities.