With just 10 minutes left on the clock during Wednesday night’s Capital One Cup semi-final between Chelsea and Swansea, Charlie Morgan was just another rich young college boy.
In between revision sessions and driving his new white Audi A1, the football-obsessed 17-year-old seemed to spend his time bragging to mates on social media about travelling first class to exotic holiday locations, showing off his new iPhone 5 or styling himself as a high roller at the roulette table.
But the inexpertly wielded boot of £170,000-a-week Chelsea star Eden Hazard yesterday transformed the son of a multi-millionaire property and travel tycoon into an overnight sensation and embroiled the game in one of its most hotly contested dramas since Eric Cantona’s spectacular 1995 Kung-Fu assault on a rival fan.
The number of people following Charlie Morgan on Twitter where he styles himself a “lad” and a “hustler” was last night nudging 90,000 after it emerged he had boasted in advance that that he planned to waste time during his final performance as a ball boy for the club where his parents own nearly a quarter of the shares. “ The king of all ballboys is back making his final appearance #needed #for #timewasting,” he posted hours before enraging the Chelsea attacker by lying on the ball as the west London team desperately sought a late goal to stay in the competition.
The 15,000 per cent rise in followers saw a series of celebrities weigh into the debate over Mr Morgan’s apparent 20 second hold-up which led to the dismissal of the Belgian striker and helped his team through to their first major final.
Swansea-supporting Gavin and Stacey star Joanna Page wrote on Twitter: “Thank you to our 12th player by the way!”
While former Premier League enfant terrible Joey Barton opined that the Belgian striker’s major crime was failing to kick “hard enough” although he later clarified his comment stating that he was “strictly against the kicking of balls people”.