Revealed: Meet the Premier League legend who once caught an STI while on international duty

By Brian Murumba: Monday, June 10th 2019 at 13:16 GMT +3 | Football
Between 1989-93, Van Den Hauwe also played for Spurs [Courtesy]

Most footballers live quiet lives and are only visible when showcasing their talents on the pitch. One big example of such players is Argentine international and Barcelona forward Lionel Messi. The 5 time Ballon d’Or winner is barely in the media for the wrong reasons.

When his name appears, it is always because of his football prowess which is always a nightmare to his opponents. Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger once described him as a PlayStation after he ripped the Gunners apart in the Champions League in 2010.

But some players just find it hard to balance between their football lives with their personal lives. Pat Van Den Hauwe, a former Birmingham, Everton and Tottenham player makes our story for today.

Born in Belgium in 1960, he was raised in London before he secured a footballing contract with Birmingham city in 1977 which opened up a successful career for him at Everton, Tottenham and Millwall.

He also had a successful international career with Wales, bagging 13 caps.

“I took a few wrong turns in life and got mixed up in a few situations. But that's life," he said.

Get the latest sports news updates. Subscribe to our SMS sports service by texting 'SPORTS' to 22840.

His story became dramatic when he was excused from training because of a slight hamstring injury. With an idle mind, he decided to sneak out of the national team’s base and met a local lady who introduced him to what he refers to as “Maltese delights”.

When he returned home, things started going south for him after he started experiencing pains whenever he visited the toilet. A condition doctors later diagnosed as an inflammation of the urethra.

“I had an amazing night with a local lady who was quite happy to show me some Maltese delights. The next day, as I sat by the pool with a beer in my hand and the sun on my back, I thought, ‘Could things be any better? But a day or two after arriving home I was suffering from pain and a burning sensation when I went to the toilet," said the former Spurs man.

The infection got worse and kept him in hospital for a while.

The story took another twist when Everton hired a personal nurse to help him recuperate. The notorious footballer again saw an opportunity and pounced.

“So the nurse got me out of there having decided to really look after me,” he recalled.

“She took me back to her place and sorted me out in every way imaginable.

“If the club had found out, we’d have been sacked,” he adds.

“That’s how out of control I was. I didn’t care.”

For More of This and Other Sports Stories Subscribe to the Standard Epaper