Derby County’s Stephen Bywater strikes me as a bit of an oddball. On the pitch he seems a normal, steady goalkeeper. He made fifty nine league appearances for West Ham United and has made one hundred and fifty for his current club Derby County.
Off the pitch he seems a fruit loop somewhat. Following news that he created and erected a piece of erotic art in his garden, at the disgust of his neighbours, I thought I’d delve into some of the other strange goings on in Bywater’s past.
Firstly, the sexy art though. Apparently the piece included wind chimes, a blow up doll (rubber genitalia included) and a portable toilet covered in graffiti such as ‘love’ and ‘piece’. Yes piece. Rumour has it he put the art up in an attempt to force his neighbours to sell him four acres of their land for his horses to graze on!?
Bywater lives in Sutton-on-the-hill, eight miles from Derby. The town has a population of one hundred and twenty five people, has no shops, no post office, no pub and no regular bus service. It’s a ghost town basically. Nothing wrong with that, it’s just unusual for a millionaire footballer to live in the middle of nowhere.
He has previous as well when it comes to being a muppet. On Goals On Sunday in 2007 he spelled out the word c*** live on air as part of an anecdote. Host Claire Tomlinson was placed on two months leave because of the incident.
Bywater has also expressed his desire to become a cage fighter when he retires from football. Seriously. He said: “I’ve told my agent one day I am going to take it up, he laughs at me but I’m serious.”
When Derby were promoted to the Premiership for the 2007/2008 season he was actually deluded enough to believe he would get into the England squad. He said: “I grew up with a few of the lads like Paul Robinson, Rob Green and Chris Kirkland and they are good but I don’t think they are anything special. I do believe if I play well and have a good season, I will be up there in contention. I am confident but not cocky.” Derby finished bottom of the league with the lowest amount of points ever recorder in the Premiership.
Whether it’s erotic art, cage fighting or saying the C-word on live television, you’ve got to agree the guy’s a character.
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