Why can’t they play for love of the game?

I am an avid sports person who tried his best at all levels playing football, crickets, darts, snooker and refereeing, that latter with the expert advice of one of Britain’s finest namely the late Arthur E. Ellis.

I have tried and mostly succeeded and never abused the rules of the game I was involved in. My latest adventure is the Royal and Ancient game of golf which I have been addicted to for the last 40 years or so and I have served my club, the Halifax Bradley Hall GC well and over the years involved have made many friends.

We observe the football and rugby players who are doing nothing but great harm to their respective sports while at the same time earning obscene amounts of money whilst abusing the great privileges they are fortunate to be receiving.

The Carlos Tevez affair is only the latest of these footballers abusing their positions; admittedly he is only earning about £250k per week so it must be difficult for him. He is not the only footballer of outstanding ability to hit the headlines for different reasons as many others of international fame have tarnished their reputations including former England captains and others who our children are supposed to look up to.

We all remember John Terry, Rio Ferdinand, Wayne Rooney, Ryan Giggs, David Beckham this list is endless.

And now we come to the latest sportsmen, our beloved England Rugby Union players dwarf throwing, boozing before and after matches (remember this is the World Cup) and the one person who should know better the Queens granddaughter’s husband our very own Yorkshire man and England captain Mike Tindell, or Tins as he is known to fellow boozers.

Martin Johnson’s lamentable excuses for the womanisers and boozers in the England camp are an insult to the supporters of this disgraceful bunch representing their country.

As an amateur in all the sports I was involved in, I took part because of my love of the game. These overpriced football and rugby players who many like to imitate should take a long hard look at most of the professional golfers whose behaviour, in general, are a credit to the game they play (Tiger Woods excepted).

They should have been sent home immediately and suspended at the very least however a slap on the wrist or a limp apology from their coach seems to be the rule of thumb. At 86 I shall continue for another year god willing doing my best to play golf with the utmost respect of my club and fellow playing partners with honesty.

Donald Leach

Shaw Street

Holywell Green