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Monday, December 6, 2021

Jamie Carragher opens up on the spitting shame that ‘knocked me for six months’


Jamie Carragher opens up on his spitting shame at a fan and a 14-year-old-girl that ‘knocked me for six months’ as he reveals he saw a psychologist to help him cope while suspended by Sky Sports, but insists he ‘owned’ his mistake

  • Liverpool icon Jamie Carragher has reflected on his infamous spitting incident   
  • He spat at a man and his daughter in another car after being goaded by the fan
  • Carragher said it ‘knocked him for six months’ after being filmed back in 2018
  • He also revealed he regrets not having more passion to play for England  

Jamie Carragher admits his spitting incident in 2018 ‘knocked me for six months’ after being suspended as a pundit by Sky Sports, with the Liverpool legend revealing he saw a psychologist to help him deal with the episode. 

The former defender had been returning from Old Trafford after his beloved Reds were beaten 2-1 by Manchester United in March of that year when he was goaded by a rival fan in a nearby car. Carragher then spat towards the man and his daughter, who had their window wound down. 

There were widespread calls for Carragher to be sacked after his spit hit the 14-year-old girl, but he left his role at Sky briefly before returning six months later having reached out to the two involved to apologise. 

He said he ‘wasn’t himself’ during his period out of work and ended up visiting former England psychologist Steve Peters.

‘Coming home from Old Trafford and then when I lost my job at Sky – I’m someone who’s quite on the front foot, if someone attacks me,’ he told Gary Neville on his YouTube show The Overlap. 

‘But that knocked me for six months. For a good six months I wasn’t myself. I’d get up in the morning and just have that pain in my stomach, oh that did happen. 

Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher has looked back on his infamous spitting episode in 2018

He told fellow pundit Gary Neville it 'knocked him for six months' while suspended by Sky

He told fellow pundit Gary Neville it ‘knocked him for six months’ while suspended by Sky

The Liverpool icon was caught on camera spitting at a man after being taunted while driving

The Liverpool icon was caught on camera spitting at a man after being taunted while driving

‘I went to see Steve Peters after it. I felt really bad, embarrassed, my family, my Mum or Dad. And the kids. I remember getting back to the house that night when I’d been at Sky. I haven’t seen the kids, they’re at school, and you just get back and we all sat together and it was tough. 

‘Even though we’re in the public eye, we’re not the royals, Beckham, big stars. You read them on the front page. When it’s you, everywhere I went it felt like people were looking at me.

When Neville asked him if he lost his confidence, Carragher said it had been dented – but used his experience as a player to ‘own’ his mistake. 

Andy Hughes (right) was spat at by Carragher after goading the Liverpool legend from his car

Andy Hughes (right) was spat at by Carragher after goading the Liverpool legend from his car

‘It’d come back to me,’ he added. ‘But it was done. I owned it. I didn’t blame anyone else. I accepted it. I took my medicine. Whatever s*** is thrown at me I’ll take it. And that’s the way I was as a player.’

Carragher – who played 737 times for Liverpool and picked up 38 caps for England –  went on Sky News in a candid interview to explain his actions and apologise as he looked to make amends, and was eventually reinstated around five months after the incident. 

A moment of madness which is difficult to explain,’ he said during the TV appearance – having been shown the video on air.

The former Liverpool and England defender appeared on Sky News to apologise for his actions

The former Liverpool and England defender appeared on Sky News to apologise for his actions

He played more than 700 times for his beloved Reds and forged a hugely successful career

He played more than 700 times for his beloved Reds and forged a hugely successful career

‘Watching those clips back it feels like an out of body thing – just that moment of madness for four or five seconds. No matter what the circumstances for anyone you can’t ever behave like that. That is just unacceptable.

‘My biggest regret is for the 14-year-old girl to be caught in the middle of it. That devastates me more than anything.

‘I have a young daughter exactly the same age and if somebody had done that it’s difficult for me to find the words to how I would react.’

Carragher is one of football's most recognised football pundits on television alongside Neville

Carragher is one of football’s most recognised football pundits on television alongside Neville

Three years later Carragher remains one of Sky’s biggest name pundits and regularly appears alongside friend and former Premier League rival Neville – who at the time had pleaded with the broadcaster not to sack him.

‘I’ve just watched Carra23 say sorry. No excuses he’s made a big mistake,’ He wrote on Twitter. ‘He’s massively passionate about football and he’s overstepped the mark and shouldn’t have reacted.

‘I’ve been on TV for 3 years with him and imo this isolated incident shouldn’t stop us working together.’ 

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