Ah, Premiership footballers. It’s hard to think of another group of people who can divide public opinion so much. Frequently pilloried for the stupendous wage packets they pick up, it’s amazing how they can be denounced one day and lauded the next. Take David Beckham, for example.

A boyish Beckham bore the weight of a nation’s expectation on his shoulders during the build up to the 1998 Word Cup in France. During a much anticipated match with Argentina in the second round of the competition, he was sent off, resulting in his effigy being burned outside pubs in London.

Fast forward to 2001, and Beckham’s goal against Greece, which qualified England for the 2002 World Cup, completed his conversion to a hero once again.

Doubtless a lot of them live in luxury and are fine fodder for paparazzi, but what of their pets? Do their cats have solid gold litter trays? Do their budgerigars dine only on the same Trill as the Queen’s? What about their pet dogs? The first in our series of Top 5 articles this week, let’s have a look at the top 5 Premiership footballer dog owners:

Ashley Cole

Fully paid up love rat Cole, 29, has recently split up from wife Cheryl Cole. The former Girls Aloud singer filed for divorce due to Ashley’s much publicised philandering. Rather than arguing over who owned which DVD or which of them gets to keep the crockery, the ex couple are headed for a bust up over their pet dogs.

X-Factor judge Cheryl has said time and time again that their pair of pet Chihuahuas, Coco and Buster, are the most important thing in the world to her. The problem is that Ashley also claims the two dogs are critical to his happiness as a carefree bachelor. Custody battles over dogs are more common than you would imagine, especially in the US, but a source close to the couple intimated that they have come to an agreement that will see them share the dogs until a decision is made as part of their divorce settlement.

Steven Gerrard

Liverpool’s Captain Fantastic has recently taken in Quinn, a German Shepherd. However, rather than being a family pet, Quinn is a working dog employed to protect his owner’s £3 million property in Formby, Merseyside.

Like many footballers in the North West, Gerrard has fallen victim to burglars whilst playing matches away from home. He previously employed ex-SAS guards, but Quinn, along with his handler, now patrols the grounds of his mansion and keeps his family (and his many medals and extensive collection of widescreen televisions) safe from sticky-fingered burglars.

Wayne Rooney

The Manchester United forward recently made the headlines after splashing out over £1,200 for a French Mastiff pup. Fully grown, the Mastiff can be quite a handful (much like its owner); weighing in at 9 stones, it will be heavier than his wife Coleen. She already owns a Bichon Frise, and they have been snapped wearing matching velour tracksuits whilst out and about. They say you can’t buy class.

With French Mastiffs noted as being somewhat lacking in handsomeness, it’s safe to say that both dog and owner will grow to look alike.

Fernando Torres

The Spanish striker owns two bulldogs, named Pomo and Yanta, and loves to indulge his passion in watching The Dog Whisperer, starring famed trainer Cesar Milan, which he says is his favourite show. His daily routine involves taking the pair for a walk after training.

Liam Lawrence

Special mention must go to Stoke’s winger, who in 2008 was sidelined from a crunch mach after tripping over his dog on the stairs at his home. Lawrence was lucky not to break his ankle in the bizarre accident, and was up and about again after a few weeks’ rest.

He said of his pet “He’s a small dog, but a solid one.

Perhaps Stoke could have used the dog in their midfield, as they have a few terriers already at the Britannia?


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