England's trophy wives: the women behind squad's hopefuls

Finally we know who's going to the World Cup - and who they'll be taking along. So which of the players' other halves are premier division, and who should be relegated? Henry Deedes reports
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The Independent Online

You could hear the rest of the litter's nails sharpening as Theo Walcott's girlfriend Melanie Slade took centre stage this week. Like Walcott, Slade is said to be a well-grounded teenager, but events this summer could see her life change dramatically over the next year. If Walcott's blistering pace lights up Germany, Slade could be the one making all the running in the not-too distant future.

HEAT APPEAL: 2/5
BLING FACTOR: 1/5
SPENDING POWER: 2/5

COLLEEN McLOUGHLIN, 18

The heir to Posh? Ever since Colleen trundled through Manchester airport with a luggage trolley ladened with shopping (she got collared by customs for not declaring £15,000 worth of goods she bought in New York), the nation has taken her to our hearts. This year alone, Colleen has pocketed around £5m in endorsements, including a £2m book deal. The inevitable media attention surrounding her fiance Wayne Rooney's fitness in Germany will guarantee her continued headlines throughout the summer and beyond.

HEAT APPEAL: 5
BLING FACTOR: 4
SPENDING POWER: 5

LOUISE OWEN, 25

Another tale of childhood sweethearts, Louise married Michael Owen two years ago after a 10-year courtship. She suffered a riding accident in 2004 when she fell off her horse, which then fell on top of her. Louise is a regular on Bond Street, but likes to keep a lower profile than her husband's status could demand.

HEAT APPEAL: 3
BLING FACTOR: 2
SPENDING POWER: 4

REBECCA ROBINSON, 24

Though not thought to court the trappings of a footballer's wife, Rebecca's marriage to the England goalkeeper, Paul Robinson, has not passed without incident. The childhood sweethearts married in 2004 only to split a few months later. When they made up last year, it was called "the best save of Paul's life".

HEAT APPEAL: 1
BLING FACTOR: 1
SPENDING POWER: 3

AMANDA JAMES, 24

The millionaires behind Friends Reunited will have been beaming at this union. After signing up to the website, Amanda hooked up with David James, whom she had once dated at school. It spelt the end of James's 13-year marriage, and his former wife was angry that "Jaymo" paid for Amanda's boob job.

HEAT APPEAL: 2
BLING FACTOR: 3
SPENDING POWER: 3

EMMA HADFIELD, 24

Say what you like about Gary Neville's fiancée Emma Hadfield, the girl's clearly got balls. Hadfield took The Sun newspaper to court and won substantial damages after the paper claimed she had been playing away while Neville was in Portugal for Euro 2004. Her engagement ring is reported to be worth £170,000.

HEAT APPEAL: 3
BLING FACTOR: 3
SPENDING POWER: 3

REBECCA ELLISON, 25

"Long suffering" is the phrase most commonly attached to Rio Ferdinand's fiancée, Rebecca Ellison. Their five-year relationship has been peppered with allegations of Ferdinand's alleged infidelities. An air hostess, Lauren Alcorn, claimed this year Rio had been sleeping with her behind Ellison's back for five years.

HEAT APPEAL: 3
BLING FACTOR: 2
SPENDING POWER: 2

TONI POOLE, 23

Like Ellison, Toni Poole is well accustomed to kiss-and-tell allegations levelled at her fiancé, John Terry. Also like Ellison, she chooses to stand by her man. Poole is known to enjoy the spotlight. If Steve McClaren decides to appoint Terry as England captain after the World Cup, he could be one to watch.

HEAT APPEAL: 4
BLING FACTOR: 3
SPENDING POWER: 3

CHERYL TWEEDIE, 22

A feisty little number. Cheryl was once convicted for attacking a nightclub loo attendant. Looks well placed to go solo once her band Girls Aloud disband, making Tweedie and Ashley Cole quite the burgeoning power couple. Could put pressure on Posh if Cole decides on a move to Madrid.

HEAT APPEAL: 4
BLING FACTOR: 4
SPENDING POWER: 5

ALEX CURRAN, 23

While Steven Gerrard's footballing class is strictly premier cru, his fiancée Alex Curran's celebrity status has all the fizzle of cheap spumante. She's got the perma-tan, the bleached blond locks, as well as a healthy shopping habit, but the media remains less enchanted with Curran than they do with say, Posh or Colleen.

HEAT APPEAL: 3
BLING FACTOR: 4
SPENDING POWER: 4

THERESA LARTEY, 27

Theresa Lartey, an estate agent, is the latest girl to be given charge of watching over Sol Campbell's troubled soul. Sol has had a string of failed relationships, most notably with an interior designer, Kelly Hoppen, who was nearly 10 years his senior. This one, however, looks as if it might have legs.

HEAT APPEAL: 3
BLING FACTOR: 2
SPENDING POWER: 3

NICOLA CARRAGHER, 24

Like her husband's on-pitch style, Nicola Carragher enjoys a no-nonsense, no-frills marriage to her husband Jamie, the Liverpool defender. Once childhood sweethearts, the two finally tied the knot last summer. She's about as likely to release a fitness video as her husband is to leave Merseyside.

HEAT APPEAL: 2
BLING FACTOR: 0
SPENDING POWER: 2

SARAH THORNTON, 21

When Sarah Thornton was snapped with her boyfriend Wayne Bridge in Marbella last year, fans noted the defender was clearly as much a dark horse off the pitch as he is on it. Obviously she wasn't put off by claims by a lapdancer who said Bridge did a runner from her bed "after he was unable to go into extra time".

HEAT APPEAL: 2
BLING FACTOR: 1
SPENDING POWER: 2

VICTORIA BECKHAM, 32

After nearly 10 years with the England captain, Victoria Beckham remains the Queen bee. The singing career, the clothing line, the fragrance, the book deal; Posh has done it all. After a brief wobble due to Beck's alleged fling with "sleazy senorita" Rebecca Loos, she's steered the SS Beckham back on an even course. Unbeatable.

HEAT APPEAL: 5
BLING FACTOR: 5
SPENDING POWER: 5

ELEN RIVES, 28

Elen Rives is said to be none too popular with the Chelsea fans, who believe she is keen on a move back to Barcelona with her husband-to-be Frank Lampard. The Catalan temptress's powers of persuasion should not be underestimated: she once convinced Lampard to shave all his body hair during a Hawaiian holiday.

HEAT APPEAL: 4
BLING FACTOR: 4
SPENDING POWER: 4

JANELLE KHOURI, 25

Almost as little is known about Janelle Khouri as there is about her partner Owen Hargreaves' abilities on the football pitch. The two live in Germany, where Hargreaves plies his trade with Bayern Munich. The pair met while Khouri was on a footballing scholarship to the University of Massachusetts.

HEAT APPEAL: 1
BLING FACTOR: 0
SPENDING POWER: 1

CARLY LUCKER, 23

Lucker has been shacked up with Joe Cole at his home in Surrey for the past two years. She managed to evade the spotlight until the beginning of this year, when Cole was beaten up by a man claiming he had been making advances on his girlfriend. Cole said: "I was in the wrong place at the wrong time."

HEAT APPEAL: 2
BLING FACTOR: 3
SPENDING POWER: 2

Footloose and single?

JERMAINE JENAS

No significant other known about, though Jenas has been on the receiving end of the odd tabloid kiss-and-tell. As with many footballers, he is reported to have a propensity for bombarding his prey with risqué text messages.

STEWART DOWNING

Nothing to report from this fledgling winger.

AARON LENNON

So far, no details about the young Spurs winger's love life. That could all change if Lennon shines in Germany this summer

ROBERT GREEN

The largely anonymous Green, of Norwich City, is thought to be single at the moment, having split up with a Norfolk model, Sarah Thomas, earlier this year.

PETER CROUCH

"He's blond, he's red, his feet stick out the bed!" So sings the Liverpool Kop of their 6ft 7in striker Peter Crouch. It is not known who he shares that bed with, although he was once linked to the Chinawhite regular Lauren Pope.

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