Carling runs into the media scrum
Saturday 30 September 1995
and STEVE BALE
Will Carling will today sidestep his marital difficulties and run into the sort of problems he must overcome if he is to hold on to his position as captain of England's rugby union team.
When he takes the field for his club, Harlequins, against West Hartlepool this afternoon, he will run a gauntlet of pressmen, television cameras and photographers, and already some are saying that intense media interest in the saga of the sporting hero, the princess and the angry wife will make his continued leadership of the national side increasingly difficult.
The press box at Harlequins' ground in south-west London is fully booked and Jonathan Holmes, Carling's agent, said yesterday he was negotiating a bonus for the increased attendance when his client played for the home team today. In the wake of the split between Carling and his wife of 14 months, Julia, amid rumours of a relationship with the Princess of Wales, the player's every move will be analysed by journalists more familiar with the level of the Princess's hemline than with the attacking style of the Harlequins' three-quarters.
The extra pressure on Carling will add weight to the views of those arguing on sporting grounds that, after seven years, it is time for a change. The personal drama, which began to unfold nearly three months ago when news of Carling's friendship with the Princess first broke, continued with an acidic statement from his wife yesterday.
Mrs Carling, who went to stay with her parents in Northamptonshire, said: "I confirm that my husband and I have separated. It saddens me deeply that this has happened but the recent pressures and tensions have produced this situation. I had always valued my marriage as the most important and sacred part of my life and it hurts me very much to face losing my husband in a manner which has become outside my control. I have given total support to Will and this has unfortunately proved to no avail."
Rat pack swoops, page 29
- 2 Italian police 'reveal' what Jesus looked like as a young boy
- 3 General Election 2015: 14-year-old boy asks Nick Clegg – 'can you kill Katie Hopkins?'
- 4 University student in court for allegedly covering housemates' food in window cleaner and spit
- 5 Ryan Gosling posts tribute to 'Ryan Gosling Won't Eat His Cereal' creator Ryan McHenry
Italian police 'reveal' what Jesus looked like as a young boy
Who should I vote for? The Independent quiz matches best political party for undecided voters ahead of the general election
Mysterious 'X-Files' sounds heard miles above the Earth
Garland shooting: Isis claims attack on Prophet Mohamed cartoon contest in Texas as its first action on US soil
Met Gala 2015: Beyoncé manages to out-skimp Rihanna, Miley and Kim Kardashian combined with near-naked ensemble
In defence of liberal democracy
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
General election live: SNP suspends two members for disrupting Labour rally
£13676.46 - £16411.61 per annum + OTE: SThree: SThree Trainee Recruitment Cons...
£18000 - £22000 per annum + training: Ashdown Group: Business and Marketing Gr...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Are you great at building rela...
£20000 - £22000 per annum + excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Application Sup...