Glenn Whelan discovered Aston Villa release via missed calls and says he won’t retire with ‘Real Madrid on the phone’

4 Jun

Glenn Whelan discovered he had been released by Premier League-bound Aston Villa over the phone – from two missed calls!

The 35-year-old, currently on international duty with the Republic of Ireland, was unavailable when manager Dean Smith called him days after the club’s Championship play-off final victory over Derby.

Whelan’s Villa career ended in perfect fashion, with the club ending their three-year exile from the Premier League with victory in the Championship play-off final
Getty Images - Getty

Whelan said: “There was only one disappointment for me. I went away on the Tuesday with the family and when I landed back in here on Tuesday I had two missed calls, one from a journalist saying I’d been released and one from the manager to give him a call.

“From that point of view it was disappointing, but something I expected to be honest.”

Whelan, however, will leave Villa Park with his head held high.

Asked about the win at Wembley, he said: “It was a great day, a great occasion. I signed two years at Aston Villa to get them back in the Premier League and I got them there, so for me, mission complete.

“To be released wasn’t a surprise, obviously what stage I’m at in my career and where Aston Villa want to go.

“I’m very pleased with what I’ve achieved over the last few seasons.”

Whelan did eventually speak to Smith and insisted that the pair parted on good terms.

He said: “We just congratulated each other, wished each other all the best and that was it. There were no hard feelings – I’ve been in the game too long to hold grudges.

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“No listen, I want to wish Aston Villa all the best, thank them for my time there, thank the fans, everyone that was involved. We had some good times.”

Asked if he intends to play on, the midfielder said with a smile: “Definitely. I’ve just had Real Madrid on the phone there before I came in.”

Jon Walters explains Stoke pig’s head prank which resulted in Kenwyne Jones bricking Glenn Whelan’s car window

17 May

Jon Walters has revealed the bizarre series of events which led to one of football’s most infamous pranks in recent memory.

In 2013, Stoke made national headlines when Kenwyne Jones discovered a bloody pig’s head in his dressing room locker.

Walters and Etherington were the pair responsible

The striker reacted with fury and, believing it was Glenn Whelan’s fault, put a brick through his team-mate’s car window – but he had the wrong culprit.

Jones apologised to Whelan for the mistaken act of retribution, however, the person responsible for the prank remained a mystery.

That was until Peter Crouch spilled the beans in his book ‘How to be a Footballer’.

It turns out Jones and Whelan were collateral damage in a prank war between Walters and Matthew Etherington – and the whole thing was a crazy mistake.

Walters joined the Sports Breakfast on talkSPORT to tell us exactly how the incident unfolded.

He said: “The pranks were going off in the dressing room and it was just a gradual build up.

Jones was furious

“My coat got put down a toilet – and it wasn’t a clean toilet either!

“I decided to get a pig’s head, brought it into the training ground and put it in Matty Etherington’s locker.

“Matty goes in his locker and nearly threw up. I’m sitting there laughing and thinking, ‘Surely he knows it’s me’.

“But he’s turned around and gone, ‘Whelo!’ So he’s got the pig’s head, wrapped Whelo’s jeans up and put it in Whelo’s locker.

“Whealan comes in and I’m waiting for him to go mad, but then he leaves.

“Kenwyne Jones comes in, opens up his locker and there’s Kenwyne Jones’ jeans wrapped around a pig’s head. He sits next to Glenn Whelan.

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“Kenywne’s going mad in the changing room. I’ve told him it was me, I brought it in for Matty, he thought it was Glenn, he put it in Glen’s locker but it’s not Glenn’s locker, it’s your locker.

“Kenwyne’s gone out, got a brick and put it through Glen Whelan’s car window – because all he heard was Glenn’s name.

“Glenn Whelan’s going mad, saying he’s going to Kenwyne’s house.

“And that was the story of the pig’s head.”