Former Premier League player Benni McCarthy and West Ham vice-chairman Karren Brady once got into a verbal spat.
The 2004 Champions League winner spent four fruitful years with Blackburn Rovers before signing a £5 million deal to join the Hammers in 2010. Given his goal-scoring prowess throughout Europe, the forty-six-year-old South African striker was held in high regard even at thirty-three.
But in his little over a year in east London, he featured just 14 times in all competitions and failed to score a single goal.
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McCarthy moved from Blackburn, and West Ham was troubled by his weight right away. Before being traded to the Hammers, Allardyce called him “unprofessional” and dubbed him ‘too overweight’ to play for Blackburn.
Then, at the start of the season, West Ham issued a challenge to him: if he couldn’t shed more than two pounds in the next six weeks, he would forfeit one week’s pay. He received a £200,000 punishment for repeatedly falling short of their weight requirements.
When he had slimmed down, West Ham’s 25-man Premier League roster included him, but then-manager Avram Grant dismissed him, claiming that his weight loss had made him too slow. The club finally had enough in April 2011 and made him an early contract termination offer, which included a payout.
Among the greatest African players to play in the Premier League, is Benni McCarthy? Let us know what you think by leaving a comment below.
McCarthy was only with West Ham for a single year.Pictured is Stuart Robinson.
Following his departure, Brady chastised McCarthy severely for his lack of professionalism.(Picture: Getty Images))
Brady, who became vice-chairman of the team the same year McCarthy did, harshly criticised the striker when he left, taking jabs at his weight problems. “We acquired a super size player who is more focused on filling his belly than the net, instead of the super scorer we had hoped for,” the woman stated.
“As time went by, he grew bigger and bigger and although he made an effort to slim down, he’d passed the waistline of no return.” McCarthy retaliated angrily, calling the entrepreneur “the devil with t**s” in response to her remarks.
The South African is Manchester United’s current striking coach.(Photo credit: Getty Images)
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After the verbal sparring, a few years later, McCarthy maintained in a 2015 interview with FourFourTwo that he stuck by his remarks against Brady. “She started hitting me, but I’m capable of going into the ring with anyone.” I retaliated because I couldn’t see her spank me in front of others. Absolutely, I still stand by what I stated.
The former Porto star played football for Orlando Pirates in his home country of South Africa before joining Manchester United’s first squad as a coach in 2022.