Friday, September 16, 2011

Off with his head: Damning footage of Zara's Mike Tindall in nightclub as he kisses and flirts with blonde

-CCTV films shows buxom girl pulling his face towards her bosom
-England's newlywed captain rapped for 'unbecoming behaviour'

By Richard Shears

Headlock: The mystery blonde pulls Mike Tindall's shaven head towards her bosom at the Altitude club in New Zealand where some England team-mates relaxed

England rugby captain Mike Tindall, the newest 'member' of the extended Royal Family, DID cuddle a beautiful blonde in a nightclub - and there's 12 embarrassing minutes of security camera footage to prove it.

The CCTV clip emerged today as the England team rallied behind their captain and the boss of a nightclub softened his earlier denials of a 'Tindall grope' by admitting that it could have happened without him or his staff seeing it.

The footage shows a buxom, long-haired blonde holding the back of Tindall's shaven head and seemingly pulling his face down towards her bosom in the dim lighting of a New Zealand nightclub on a rowdy night out during the World Cup.

Cuddle: Tindall is seen on CCTV putting his arm round the girl at the nightclub in New Zealand

Hugger: World Cup captain Tindall closes in on the mystery blonde as he heads towards the exit

She also has her lips very close to his head as he bows forward. Other parts of the the video show Tindall with his left arm around the woman, who has her back to the camera, and they appear to be kissing.

The footage was released by a man who claims to be a bouncer. Facing the camera as he 'presents' the video, he criticises the England captain for his 'unbecoming' behaviour, adding that he 'felt' for the Queen and Tindall's bride of six weeks, Zara.

The video shows Tindall talking animatedly with the blonde at the bar and she then has a drink before leaning forward to kiss Tindall.

The pair are then joined by a brunette who also moves in very close to the rugby star, her hands running up and down the sides of his body.

Touching: Tindall gets up front and personal with the buxom blonde at the bar

Face to face: Another girl and Tindall have an intimate chat at the bar where later he was seen cuddling her blonde friend

Outside the club, another security camera catches the couple embracing one another and later she is with a group, including Tindall, who leave the doorway and walk away out of sight of the camera.

Alarm bells went off when the CCTV footage was posted on YouTube today by 'pinksnz' and shortly after word got around that it showed the newly-married captain in the arms of a party girl it was removed from the social networking site.

But by then the evidence had been revealed.

The England club management had issued a soft denial after claims of Tindall's flirtatious behaviour were first aired, with a spokesman insisting that 'like all the lads, he plays for England with a massive amount of passion and he was relaxing after a tough match', against Argentina, which England won.

Despite captaining England in their opening pool B victory, Tindall will not play in Sunday's clash against Georgia in Dunedin, though it is unclear if he has been dropped or is merely being rested against weaker opposition.

Flirting: Tindall and the girl at the bar where the England captain and team-mates had gone to relax after they beat Argentina in their first World Cup match

Scrum: New Royal and England rugby captain Mike Tindall grabs Dylan Hartley and Chris Ashton as they party at the Altitude bar in New Zealand's south island

After Saturday's game, the team made their way to the Altitude night club in the South Island lakeside town of Queenstown.

Part of the night's entertainment was a dwarf-racing competition in which a team of 'little people' raced across the bar with bungy cords around their waists to see who could complete the 'course' the fastest.

Drinks flowed and, according to one Facebook post from Lewis Norman, the England players were 'legends rocking it.'

The damaging video footage, which flies in the face of denials from the England team, its management, and the Altititude Club that anything untoward had gone on between Tindall and the mystery blonde woman, was introduced by a man who said he was a bouncer.

Pint-sized: England's Chris Ashton looks like he needs a hand as he parties with two dwarfs

In a gruff voice, he attacked Tindall for what he said was his 'unbecoming behaviour'.

The un-named man said that no-one was going to make a cent out of the video but he was posting it so that people could make up their own minds about what they saw and could pass their own judgement.

'Mr Tindall,' said the bouncer, interrupting the playing of the video showing Tindall and the blonde at the bar, 'your behaviour was that of someone unbecoming, especially to someone such as the Queen and Zara Philips.

'I do feel for them. Mr Tindall, let me give you a word - in my country it means your word completely, you don't break it for anyone.

'You gave your word to God, Queen and country.'

He said the player had come to his country of New Zealand for the Rugby World Cup and had behaved in an unbecoming manner for an ambassador of his his own country.

Miss Phillips – or Mrs Tindall as she now prefers to be known in private – declined to comment on the allegations yesterday.

The former world champion three-day eventer, who has high hopes of representing her country in next year’s Olympics, was competing in Ireland and will not return to the home the couple share in Cheltenham next week.

But her spokesman confirmed that she would still travel as planned to New Zealand to see her husband mid-way through the tournament. Sources say she is expected in two weeks’ time.

The feisty 30-year-old has discussed the incident with Tindall in an emotional telephone call, although she is understood to be standing by him.

‘Zara is like her mother – outspoken, fiery and very, very feisty. She adores Mike but won’t take this lying down and will no doubt feel utterly humiliated by what has happened,’ said a source.

The couple decided to put off having a honeymoon for a year or more due to their respective sporting commitments, particularly this month’s Rugby World Cup.
The Mail understands that most of the squad went to The Pub on The Wharf, a waterfront bar in Queenstown, to watch Wales play South Africa on Sunday night.

While many of them went home around 11pm local time, a small group, including Tindall, decided to go on to the Altitude bar.

The ‘rather grotty’ student-style bar was selling vodka shots for £2 a go and had hired a team of male dwarfs to ‘entertain’ its customers.

Pictures posted on Facebook show players including prop Dan Cole, hooker Steve Thompson, second row Louis Deacon, full back Ben Foden, centre Shontayne Hape, fly-half Toby Flood, flankers Tom Croft and Lewis Moody and number eight Nick Easter at the bar.

Mike Tindall in action during Saturday's match against Argentina, after which the skipper led the charge of a raucous night out

In one snap a laughing Tindall can be seen throwing himself playfully on top of team-mates Dylan Hartley and Chris Ashton while in others players including Cole and Thompson are mock-wrestling with two dwarves.

Another photograph shows Flood, Croft and Moody posing with a blonde fan. Cole and Thompson can also be seen in a second picture with their arms around two girls, one blonde and one brunette. One shows Cole, Thompson, Deacon, Foden, Hartley and Hape posing with two brunettes and two blondes, one of whom is also seen holding on to Easter in another snap.

There is no suggestion that Tindall left the bar with the girl concerned but his alleged behaviour is unlikely to endear himself to either Zara or her notoriously irritable mother, the Princess Royal.

The photographs will, undoubtedly, also come as a something of a shock to Zara’s fellow rugby Wags –known as Scrummies.

Although they are back home in England, a number of them will be joining their partners later in the tournament.

Foden has the most high profile partner, Una Healy, of girlband The Saturdays, who was on his arm at Tindall and Zara’s wedding. She has just announced she is expecting their first child.

Keep trying: Dan Cole (left) and Steve Thompson enjoyed a night out at Altitude bar in Queenstown with other England stars

Moody, who is also photographed in a group with a female fan, has been married to interior designer Annie since 2006, and the couple, who live in Leicestershire and run a property company, have a son, Dylan, three.

New Zealand-born Hape is married to Liana, a dancer who has performed with Shaggy, Pink and Natalie Imbruglia. The couple have two sons and one daughter.

Ashton has a live-in girlfriend of three years, Melissa, a dental nurse. She will be following the team in a rented motorhome with Ashton’s mother and sister, he has revealed.

Rich Deane, the Altitude Bar manager, maintained that the players had been perfectly well behaved. In a posting on his Facebook site, he wrote: ‘Firstly there was no dwarf-throwing – that’s just not cool! Secondly there was no scandal by any of the English rugby players that we saw. They were great lads, not throwing the midgets, it was all light-hearted good-humoured fun!’

But sources close to the England camp told the Mail: ‘Rugby players have always been renowned for playing hard and drinking even harder. But we are in the era of the professional sportsman, when players are earning huge amounts in sponsorship, and this is the World Cup.

‘It is the last thing Martin [Johnson, manager] will want, particularly after making such a play of treating his players like adults.’

Tindall is set to be rested for England’s second match, against Georgia on Sunday, but the decision has nothing to do with his weekend antics.

Booze, dwarves, jelly wrestling... but what will their wives think of their rowdy night out?

The sticky floors, neon lights and garish posters advertising £2-a-shot vodka deals and Friday night ‘jelly wrestling and strip pillow fighting’ raises one simple question.

What will the wives and girlfriends of England’s World Cup rugby squad make of their choosing to party in such a place?

Queenstown, towards the south-west of New Zealand’s South Island, is a party town and something of a mecca for gap-year students attracted by the area’s extreme sports, as well as its lively nightlife.

The centre of the town, situated on Lake Wakatipu, is made up of just half a dozen interlocking streets but boasts dozens of all-night drinking dens – including Altitude.

Cowboy: Louis Deacon poses with a dwarf dressed in a cowboy hat and the colours of the Irish flag painted on his face

Widely considered to be the most rowdy (and therefore busiest) of the lot, it is part of the Base youth hostel where for just £12 you get bed, breakfast and a free drink at the bar.

The bar itself is long, dark, dank – and ‘frankly grotty’, said one recent visitor – with a sticky floor smelling permanently of stale beer.

The only source of light comes from a handful of neon spots and a back-lit bar while thudding dance music blares out both night and day.

Cheap drink deals are clearly the big sell: $25 (£13) for three Jägerbombs, a potent cocktail that is mixed by dropping a shot of Jägermeister into a glass of Red Bull energy drink, and two for $10 (£5) on any spirits. On the night the England team was there, vodka was being promoted at just $4 (£2) a shot.

Then there is the ‘entertainment’.

Among the highlights this week are ladies-only jelly wrestling – which involves scantily clad women climbing into a paddling pool filled with jelly – and strip pillow-fighting.

Guests can also participate in leprechaun bar wars, and so-called midget-curling, which apparently involves pushing a dwarf along the ground in order to reach a circular target in an imitation of the Olympic sport.

When our investigator went to the bar on Wednesday, bar staff had been strictly ordered not to talk about the England team’s night out, although it was clear that a lot of money had been spent.

At 11pm, our investigator saw the tables were cleared away for a game of horizontal bungee, where customers race each other with a bungee cord strapped to their backs.

Both male and female participants were encouraged to take their clothes off – even if it meant covering their decency with only their hands.

The couple who REALLY like a drink


Who would want to be in Mike Tindall’s size 16 shoes today? He must be feeling like crawling back under the duvet.

His wife of just 48 days is due to fly out to New Zealand to see him shortly, and will almost certainly quiz him in person about the unsavoury scenes which played out in the Queenstown bar where he reportedly enjoyed more than just a few drinks at the weekend.

No wonder he looked so whey-faced at his training sessions this week.

Trouble ahead: Mike Tindall knows he is in for a rough time from his new wife in the next few weeks, but they are both avid party-goers who have never had drink far from their side

‘Tins’, as he is known, said only a few days ago that getting married was the ‘absolute best day’ of his life and that winning any number of World Cups would never compare to it.

Ever the professional, however, he had persuaded Zara – the Queen’s granddaughter – that they should postpone their honeymoon so he could train for the World Cup.

It’s just that Zara didn’t expect this would be part of the training programme.

She is known for her ‘fiery’ temper and doesn’t stand for flirtatious behaviour from her man. She memorably had a huge, drunken row in a Gloucestershire street with her previous fiancé, jockey Richard Johnson, back in 2001.

The couple were reported to have been ‘screaming, swearing, kicking and punching’ before the police were called and Johnson went off in tears.

So there is no doubt that Tindall – an intelligent man who is universally regarded as a ‘nice bloke’ – knows what’s coming. In an interview shortly before their wedding he said that they were ‘fire and ice’ and added: ‘Being angry doesn’t come naturally to me. Zara isn’t like that. She’ll say how she feels and show her emotions.’ Oh dear.

The Palace is playing down Tindall’s high jinks.

He is just a rugby player, and this is what rugby players do,’ said a source.

And the game’s governing body, the RFU, yesterday declined to get drawn into the controversy, although a reporter who asked Tindall about the story was asked to leave the training ground. However, it was clear from his shame-faced demeanour that he knows there’s trouble ahead.

To be fair, Zara should not be entirely surprised. For while both of them are consummately professional athletes, they are both avid party-goers and drink has never been far from their side since they met in a bar in Sydney during the 2003 World Cup.

At their wedding, one of the most talked about features was a ‘vodka fountain’. That and the fact that Tindall was still in his morning suit the following afternoon, after the revels, during which friends said it ‘rained champagne’.

And then there is his stag do in Miami where Tindall – was observed downing an entire carafe of red wine in one. The bar bill for five hours’ drinking came to £12,000. And by the end, Tindall was clad in one of the nightclub’s dancers’ tutus.

As the House of Windsor is beginning to realise, while the royal newlyweds work hard, they also play very, very hard.

In 2008 Tindall and Zara attended a party for jockeys in Cheltenham. Both drank a great deal of champagne, and Zara became so giddy that she fell off a chair and banged her head.

He was seen vomiting during the festivities, only to fail a roadside breathalyser test at 11am the next day and banned from driving for three years.

He also has a previous drink-drive conviction dating back to 2000, although he refuses to speak about these convictions in interviews, and instead talks with pride about his wife’s capacity for alcohol, boasting that she could drink any footballer under the table.

Cheers! Zara swigs from a beer bottle following a horse trial in Gloucestershire in 2008. Tindall has previously boasted about his wife's capacity for alcohol in interviews

‘We still like going out and having a good time,’ Tindall said earlier this year, with a measure of understatement. ‘We just do it in the right way, where it’s not in the media. If you live in London and go out in London it’s all over the papers. You can still go out and have a good time in Cheltenham. We keep ourselves to ourselves now.’ .

When they are not out on the town, evenings are generally spent watching TV or films and walking their dogs, and people who know Tindall well say that he is a kindly, upright man.

The happy couple sang a medley of Abba songs on the karaoke at their wedding. The question is: what song will Mike Tindall be singing when Zara flies out to demand he explains himself?



Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More

Powered by Blogger