The public trial of the Swansea ballboy, who with the swinging boot of a Chelsea footballer became the literal embodiment of his job, was – I suspect – prejudiced against him as soon as we all heard one word: “Audi”.
Now, there is nothing particularly perjorative about this, the name of an upper-echelon German car brand. However, that this is the make of car driven by 17-year-old Charlie Morgan (the aforementioned Welsh piñata) means things get a little darker. Well, they do in my mind. I am not by nature a jealous man. There will always be someone earning more money than I, so no sense craving their good fortune.
Eden Hazard, the Chelsea player who did the kicking, earns £170,000 per week. But with that fat wallet supposedly comes demands on his behaviour.
I don’t begrudge Master Morgan the good luck of being born the son of a multimillionaire. And few teenagers are dripping with selfless philanthropy. But tweeting that he was not going to be pressing charges against Hazard, as if the world should swoon at his magnanimity, made my tummy feel funny. Funny with rage. But I suspect that’s just my Glaswegian socialist underskirt showing. Again.
Maybe if Charlie had been the 21st-century equivalent of a chimney sweep, with six siblings and a tired-faced single mum to feed from his ball-boying, I would have forgiven his lying on the ball and wasting time so his team could win. But such a grounded, blue-collar youth would be too full of Corinthian spirit to stoop so low in the first place, wouldn’t he? While I would like to think so, you know what teenagers are like…