x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Wife of England's football captain seeks shelter in Dubai from the storm

The wife of the England footballer John Terry has come to Dubai seeking solace from a growing storm over her husband's affair with the girlfriend of a former teammate.

The wife of the England footballer John Terry has come to Dubai seeking solace from a growing storm over her husband's affair with the girlfriend of a former teammate. Toni Terry, 29, arrived on Saturday night accompanied by the couple's three-year-old twins and her mother shortly after asking the England captain and Chelsea player for a divorce, the UK newspaper The Sun reported.

"Toni has simply had enough," the newspaper quoted a source close to the family as saying. "She has told John in no uncertain terms she wants a divorce. "They had a brief conversation and she said she was flying away. "Toni feels the best thing for both of them was for her to get some space and for him to concentrate on football and his career." News of Terry's four-month affair with Vanessa Perroncel, a lingerie model and the girlfriend of his fellow England footballer Wayne Bridge, broke on Friday when a high court judge lifted an injunction that had barred reporting of the matter.

Terry and Bridge, besides playing together for the national team, spent almost six years as teammates at Chelsea. Bridge is currently with Manchester City. Mrs Terry and Ms Perroncel, with whom Bridge has a four-year-old son, were also close friends. More controversy followed as allegations emerged that Terry, 29, arranged for Ms Perroncel to have an abortion after getting her pregnant. Mrs Terry is reportedly considering hiring Fiona Shackleton, a divorce lawyer famous for defending members of the British royal family and celebrities including Paul McCartney and Madonna.

The trip to Dubai may bring back troubling memories for Mrs Terry; her husband proposed to her in the city in 2003 and the couple returned for their honeymoon four years later. Terry has said he and his wife have "a special connection" to the city and visited in July last year, staying at Jumeirah Beach Beit Al Bahar. Terry's captaincy of the England team is at stake over the incident. It is understood that if Bridge decides he wants to continue to play for England, but not under Terry, then Terry will be stripped of his rank.

Several players for the Abu Dhabi-owned Manchester City wore jerseys emblazoned with the slogan "Team Bridge" for their match against Portsmouth on Sunday, in support of their teammate. @Email:lmorris@thenational.ae