I suspect not many of you would consider our footballing heroes as self-builders but, taken to its truest definition – commissioning a custom home, built for the individual who’ll live there – then to me they most definitely are.
And it seems some days that pretty much every footballer is a self-builder, too. It must be something to do with all of their mates down the training ground doing it – or quite possibly because they have completely run out of racehorses, personalised number plates and other things to spend their money on – but self-building is THE hot thing for them to do.
It might tarnish my reputation to reveal that I am a follower of the red team from Manchester so I’ve kept a close eye on, over the years, the individual housing projects of Roy Keane, Ryan Giggs and David Beckham as well as Mr Rooney. All, without wishing to be unkind, have priortised flashier features over architectural merit – indeed the Rooney house has its own tanning salon (I think that’s what they’re called).
But the latest footballing self-builder (or should it be self-building footballer) story doing the rounds last week was that of Jermain Defoe, the dimunutive, Christian, glamour-girl ‘dating’ Spurs striker. (Incidentally, if you do a Google predictive search for ‘Jermain Defoe’s Girlfriend’ it has a separate entry for each year, which is rather telling).
It turns out goalshy Jermain is currently upsetting the neighbours in Chingford, Essex (home to Alan Sugar and ‘Rocket’ Ronnie O’Sullivan) by building a huge ‘neo’ Classical mansion complete with its own – every home needs one – nightclub and hair salon, which is even more inexplicable when you see that Jermain Defoe has very little hair indeed.
But here’s the point – for once, the design is actually pretty good, and something that most of us would be proud of. Who wouldn’t include, given the money-no-object life that a footballer leads, all of the things that they have dreamed about having on tap?
Mine would undoubtedly be a recording studio. I’d love to hear your fantasy rooms (within reason, of course) below.
And see the full story on Jermain’s house here