A Liverpool FC fan from Canterbury has spoken of his regret after giving his son the middle name Carragher – in the the wake of the pundit’s spit shame.
Antony Caplin’s son Charlie was born needing open heart surgery and was given the name Carragher because it carried a sense of being “strong and brave”.
But the 53-year-old from Thanington was appalled when video footage emerged at the weekend showing ex-Liverpool player and Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher spitting at a Manchester United fan who had goaded him.
Anthony told the Canterbury Journal: “Seeing that upset me so much. I thought that if there was one player in the world who wouldn’t do that it would be Carragher.
“I used to run a football team until last year and I think spitting is the lowest of the low. It’s disgusting.
“If any of my players did that, they would be out.”
Antony, who works at CATS College in Canterbury, ran a team called Kingsmead which played in a league at the University of Kent’s football facility.
His son Charlie is now four, but still has to have medical checks.
“Being a massive Liverpool fan and a really big admirer of Jamie Carragher who played with his heart on his sleeve with great bravery, I wanted my son Charlie to have a really strong and brave name,” Antony said.
Asked if he thought the incident would blow over before his son was old enough to understand it, he said: “I hope so. This is the worst news I’ve had in a long time and I’ve had a lot of bad news recently.
“I don’t know what Jamie Carragher was thinking. The guy didn’t even goad him that much.”
Antony, who often watches Liverpool matches at the Cross Keys pub in Oaten Hill, admits he is even considering legally changing Charlie’s middle name.
He and his Russian wife Larisa have a daughter Ramashka, six, and an eight-year-old son Emlyn Crazy Horse.
He is named after the Liverpool player and Question of Sport captain Emlyn Hughes, whose nickname was Crazy Horse.
“The thing about Emlyn is that he doesn’t like football,” Antony added. “I don’t think Charlie will either.”
Carragher, 40, played for Liverpool and England between 1996 and 2013.
He has been told he will not face criminal action for spitting at the Manchester United fan after last Saturday’s match against Liverpool.
Carragher had been working as a pundit for Sky Sports, which has suspended him.
He later appeared on Sky News to apologise. “It looks awful and I accept that. It’s not something I’ve done before and not something I’ll do again,” Carragher said.
“It’s a stain on my character and I have to accept that.”