Tag Archives: margaret

Margaret Thatcher passes away: Dave Whelan wants minute"s silence for former Prime Minister

Wigan boss Whelan calls for Wembley silence before Millwall clash to honour former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher

By
David Kent

PUBLISHED:

17:09 GMT, 9 April 2013

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UPDATED:

17:09 GMT, 9 April 2013

Wigan chairman Dave Whelan has called for a one-minute silence in honour of Baroness Margaret Thatcher.

The former Prime Minister died yesterday, aged 87 after suffering a stroke.

Whelan, whose Wigan side face Millwall in their FA Cup semi-final clash on Saturday, believes football fans should pay their respects to the deceased prime Minister.

Eyes on the prize: Dave Whelan would like a minute's silence for the former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher

Eyes on the prize: Dave Whelan would like a minute's silence for the former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher

Speaking to the BBC, Whelan said: 'We owe Mrs Thatcher a minute's silence.

'We have to say thank you very much for the service she gave'.

But the Premier League have told Sportsmail there are no plans for a one-minute silence ahead of this weekend fixtures.

England nearly pulled out of 1990 World Cup following Hillsborough disaster

England nearly pulled out of the 1990 World Cup following Hillsborough disaster

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UPDATED:

07:52 GMT, 13 September 2012

Ministers considered pulling England out of the 1990 World Cup in the aftermath of the Hillsborough disaster, government papers reveal.

Former deputy prime minister Geoffrey Howe said the tournament would provide a 'natural focus for hooligan activity' and the possibility of withdrawing the team was discussed in a government committee, files released as part of Wednesday's report show.

In a letter to then-prime minister Margaret Thatcher on September 27 1989 he said the idea was dropped because it was feared 'determined hooligans' would head to host nation Italy anyway.

Close call: England are greeted by fans on their return from Italia 90

Close call: England are greeted by fans on their return from Italia 90

The committee also discussed abandoning an England versus Scotland match the following spring.

'The World Cup in June next year provides a natural focus for hooligan activity. And every individual match carries the potential for confrontation,' Mr Howe wrote.

'The committee also looked at the possibility of our seeking the abandonment of the England v Scotland match at Wembley next spring and the withdrawal of England from the World Cup.

'They felt it would be premature to reach a firm view on either.

Vigil: Liverpudlians gathered in the city centre on Wednesday night

Vigil: Liverpudlians gathered in the city centre on Wednesday night

Vigil: Liverpudlians gathered in the city centre on Wednesday night

'It appears that the Scottish Football
Association privately favours cancelling the England v Scotland match,
especially if both countries are in the World Cup. So this issue may
resolve itself, to everyone's satisfaction.

'Withdrawal from the World Cup is an altogether larger issue. If England withdrew, the likelihood is that the determined hooligans will make their way to Italy anyway and find a different cause to champion.'

The documents also reveal Mrs Thatcher was told by her press secretary Bernard Ingham that the Football Association was behaving 'extraordinarily stupidly' for wanting to go ahead with a friendly against Holland in December of that year.

Tributes: Fans leave scarves and shirts on the gates of Anfield on Tuesday night

Tributes: Fans leave scarves and shirts on the gates of Anfield on Tuesday night

Vigil: Crowds gathered in Liverpool on Wednesday night

In a letter dated September 5 Mr Ingham wrote: 'You will recall the after the European Championships you asked the FA to consider whether to go ahead with European friendly matches and they cancelled a fixture with Italy at Wembley.

'However, they have inconceivably gone ahead with the Dutch fixture in the middle of December notwithstanding that Holland has probably the worst soccer hooligan problem in Europe after ourselves.'

He added: 'The FA do seem to be behaving extraordinarily stupidly in organising a friendly with Holland at a time when, apart from anything else, they should, in their own interest, be cultivating their return to European football proper.'

Tragedy: 96 fans were killed at Hillsborough

Tragedy: 96 fans were killed at Hillsborough

The December fixture was eventually cancelled at sports minister Colin Moynihan's request, the files state.

Mrs Thatcher was urged to press Council of Europe members to deal 'vigorously' with football hooligans who committed offences at matches overseas.

F1 Bernie Ecclestone is still motorsport"s Mr Big

He's 81 and 5ft 3in but Ecclestone is still motorsport's Mr Big

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UPDATED:

22:34 GMT, 6 July 2012

There is now a buzzer on the wall next to the door at the bottom of the dark-glass tower near Hyde Park that is Bernie Ecclestone's mint. My identity established, the door opens and I walk down a corridor to a desk.

I ask to speak to Mr Ecclestone. He is known as Bernie around the globe, but that is not how he is referred to in his office. I am Mr McEvoy to them in this James Bond-style world.

Serious business: Ecclestone has been at the forefront of Formula One for more than 30 years

Serious business: Ecclestone has been at the forefront of Formula One for more than 30 years

They lead me into a meeting room. A light wood table surrounded by racing car seats sits in the middle. A fireman's helmet, an artwork depicting a million dollars piled high, a certificate honouring Mr Ecclestone's 2008 honorary.

Doctor of Science degree from Imperial College, a striking, purple-dominated modern painting and a picture of him and Niki Lauda at Monaco in perhaps the Seventies, inscribed by Lauda, the thrice champion of the world, with the words: 'A lot of people are tall. Only few have a big heart. You are one of them. You make us look small.'

The door opens and Bernard Charles Ecclestone, 81, 5ft 3in tall, wearing a well-pressed open-neck white shirt, mop-haired, squinting slightly behind those John Lennon glasses, comes in.

'Get out of here,' he says. 'The builders are working outside the window. Let's go next door. They're nice chaps and they're only doing their jobs, but the noise is a problem.'

He grasps my hand as if to shake it, but almost pulls me into the corridor and ushers me through another door a few feet away.

Fabiana Flosi with Bernie Ecclestone

Ecclestone and fiancee Fabiana Flosi

Before talking Margaret Thatcher, his unsuitability for a German prison cell, his 'lavish' wedding plans, his disapproval of daughter Tamara's television parade of wealth, his plans for a genuine grand prix in London and, would you credit it, contemplation for the first time that Formula One is planning for a future without him, why the buzzer

'We had a new girl on the switchboard,' he says, typically sotto voce. 'She let these blokes in wearing helmets. You have been here a few times. You couldn't find the lift, could you No. They walked straight up to the lift and up to the fourth floor. They looked around the floor.

'They went down into the basement, which is bizarre because it doesn't say basement. They opened up the back door, which has locks all over it. We saw it on CCTV and went down to have a look. They said they were supposed to be looking for a laptop. We asked who their boss was. They wouldn't say anything. I said we'd better call the police.

'The police looked at the images. One of
the guys was out on licence. The police said we have to be a bit more
secure than before, so we got that buzzer.'

Havoc: The wet track caused chaos at Silverstone

Taking a spin: Wet weather caused havoc on first day of British Grand Prix

It was in November 2010 that Ecclestone was mugged outside this very building as he and his then Brazilian girlfriend, now his 35-year-old fiance, Fabiana Flosi, went out. Was this intrusion connected No, he says, the police had already locked up the culprits who kicked and punched him in one of around 25 such cases in the area that the Met would rather we did not read about.

Ecclestone is spry. He sleeps
six-and-a-half hours a night and works ferociously hard when he is
awake. But despite that, he knows that CVC, the private equity firm who
own Formula One, are pondering the long term. Ecclestone's boss, since
selling the sport's commercial rights to CVC and running the business as
its chief executive, is Donald Mackenzie.

'Donald is happy about me doing what I
do,' says Ecclestone. 'But what to do when I'm gone is a concern for
him. If I'm dead or if I run away, he'll obviously need to sort out some
kind of succession.

'I
told him that he should run it in a different way. If I wasn't here it
wouldn't be one person running things but more like a few people.'

So when will Ecclestone stop 'Past
100, I'm definitely out. I don't know who should do it – honestly
there's nobody I despise enough that I would wish this on them.'

How is his health, following a triple coronary bypass in 1999 'Fine.
No problems.' Does he have a regular health check 'Thanks for reminding
me. I should have gone last year. I go to a place in Austria. The days
of a doctor feeling your pulse are over. They put you in a tube and the
machine does the rest.'

Crown Prince Sheikh Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa greets Bernie Ecclestone before the Bahrain Grand Prix

Money matters: Crown Prince Sheikh Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa and Bernie Ecclestone before the Bahrain Grand Prix

Conversation turns to the London
Grand Prix. Two schemes have materialised: one around the Olympic
Stadium, which is unlikely to win approval from the London Legacy
Development Corporation, and a fanciful notion attached to a
publicity-hungry bank whose name we shall not mention more than we have
to.

Ecclestone: 'A long
time ago we really looked at it properly with the old mayor and a lot of
people from the City. I said, “I need you guys to put some money in
because it will obviously be bringing a lot of money in”. They did
eventually decide they could, possibly, find 3million – perhaps. I said
with the number of meetings we'd need to have it wouldn't pay for the
mineral water so we need to get serious, which we never did.

'What's been put to me more recently is something around the Olympic
area. These people, (the bidders, Intelligent Transport Solutions Ltd
from Wanstead, east London), wanted my permission to go with a race
proposal. It looks a bit complicated. Someone is going to take over the
site and they probably won't want F1 charging through there.

Bernie Ecclestone

'Then this other thing came up, which was a Santander publicity stunt. They devised a computer-generated London race. They showed me their idea two or three months ago and said, “It looks good. It looks exciting. It's good publicity for the British Grand Prix and Santander”.

'I said you're bloody right it is. And before I knew it I was apparently the one who was behind it. I didn't know about it to be honest, but I accepted the credit.

'I did say – not in relation to that one – that if we could have a race in London, we would be prepared to pay 35m to make it happen.

'I will try to resurrect what we originally discussed with the sports minister and the old mayor, er, er, what's his name, Mr Ken Livingstone, some years ago. I will try to get that back on track.'

Those plans are in Formula One Management's archives at Biggin Hill and Ecclestone is in the process of digging them out. He will talk to Boris Johnson about the idea.

'Whatever we do in London, it won't harm Silverstone,' he says.

'They have done the work they needed to do. It took them 20-odd years
to get round to it but everything's fine now. When I got them out of
financial trouble with the people they were involved with about 10 years
ago, they had enough money to have done what they needed to do, but
they didn't. Now they have and it's great. Super.'

Ecclestone is relaxed, his humour sardonic. He laughs with a smile
rather than a roar. You would little know from his demeanour that he is
connected to a bribery case in Germany that has seen a former banker
called Gerhard Gribkowsky jailed for eight-and-a-half years.

Gribkowsky, who was the chief risk
officer at BayernLB, was accused of accepting $44m (now 28m) from
Ecclestone as a bribe to undervalue Formula One's shares when the
business was sold to CVC in 2006. Ecclestone denies this, saying that
he gave Gribkowsky the money because the German had threatened to go to
HM Revenue & Customs with 'false evidence' claiming that Ecclestone
was more involved in the running of his family trust, Bambini Holdings,
than he should have been.

Gribkowsky confessed last month to tax evasion, breach of trust towards
his former employer and being in receipt of corrupt payments.

So will Ecclestone be charged Will he go to jail 'No. I don't think I'd like it, so why would I go' he smiles.

'Seriously, it's nothing to do with
us. My lawyers say we shouldn't discuss it. In the end I travelled over
to be a witness at the trial. There were 41 other witnesses and the guy
has been dealt with. They haven't finished with him yet because he's
appealing.

'I haven't done
anything wrong. Absolutely. No, I didn't bribe anybody. I've told them I
would willingly go there to be a witness again. Three times I've been
purely to help already.'

He would rather talk about those Formula One pioneers Colin Chapman and
Enzo Ferrari, always referred to by him as Mr Ferrari. They help inform
how Ecclestone, who has built the sport into his own billion dollar
empire over more than 30 years – having been a team owner before – acts
in a life that mixes sport and business.

Former BayernLB chief risk officer Gerhard Gribkowsky (L) arrives guarded by a German police officer

Connection: Former banker Gerhard Gribkowsky (left)

He reveals that the 2013-2020 Concorde Agreement, the contract that binds the teams, Ecclestone's commercial rights holders and the governing FIA to the sport, is agreed in all its commercial elements. Even Mercedes, who had threatened to walk out on Formula One if they did not receive a larger slice of money, are on side.

'Total agreement,' he confirms. 'We are just talking to the lawyers -“why have you used this word, that word”. Typical lawyers but everything's fine. Commercially it's done.

'Now what we've got to do is look at how the technical regulations are made. It should be the teams, though not all the teams, who do that. They are the people who have to come up with the money, not the FIA. It would be the established teams who are here to stay – Ferrari, McLaren, Red Bull, Mercedes and probably Williams as old timers – deciding what to do.'

For all the high-rolling Ecclestone
represents – he is 'ready to push the button' on a stock market
floatation of Formula One 'when the markets are right' – he lives an
unflashy life.

Go to
dinner with him and he will order an omelette. He might sip at the wine
but he really prefers a cool beer to relax at home, his shoes kicked
off.

Bernie and daughter Tamara

Bernie and daughter Tamara

That life is now shared with Flosi, whom he first met at the Brazilian Grand Prix. They are engaged, so, surely, a billionaire's glitzy wedding awaits. 'We don't have a date for it,' he says. 'Will it be lavish I've been trying to find a venue – and I've been looking everywhere, not just London – that is a nice restaurant, which doesn't have too many people in it, for a table for two. It will be a miniscule wedding.'

Yet he adds: 'I got in trouble with my ex (Slavica) and she was quite right. We got married in a register office. I had to ring Max (Mosley) to get his secretary to be a witness. And then I went straight back to the office. Not very romantic. No photographs. And I feel sorry for her.'

His daughters, who remain fiercely loyal to their mother but are at least partly reconciled to Flosi's arrival, are not so reticent with displays of wealth. Petra married in a 5m extravaganza of live music and fireworks in a castle.

'It was a big party that happened to have a wedding,' says Ecclestone. 'I don't like those sort of parties. She wanted it that way. It was what her mum wanted to achieve after I was a miserable b*****d about our wedding. I was happy for them both.

'I had to do something at the time that upset me. I had to give her away. I'd rather have sold her. It all went very well.

'My relations with the girls are super, super. It is difficult for them to accept a new woman in my life while their mother is still there. I'm glad they are close to her. She can point them in the right direction.'

Speaking of which, what did Ecclestone make of his older daughter Tamara starring in Channel 5's Billion $$ Girl, a programme that chronicled the 'naked truth about the life of the billionaire heiress and socialite'.

'I watched half of one of the programmes and turned it off. I thought it was a totally unnecessary thing to do. And I told her that at the time. It is good for people watching but not for her. That was my opinion. She was happy because she got a lot of publicity.

'Actually, she does an enormous amount of charity work. We don't talk about that. She is behind the money we raise for Great Ormond Street Hospital. The young lady I am with ran the marathon because of it and raised thousands.'

How much has he donated to good work over the years Millions 'Sure. Over a long time. We have built schools and hospitals in Brazil.' So is he politically aware Does he vote 'No, no.' Never 'No. I find the right guy usually comes out on top.

'Actually, I did vote for Boris. He's doing a good job. I liked Margaret Thatcher, too. Leaders like her and Churchill – the real greats – got things done. They really ran the country. The buck stopped there. Now there are too many compromises.'

It is his style. A usually benign dictatorship, you might say.

His enjoyment is derived from 'getting the job done in the right way'. He has his walkie-talkie with him at Silverstone, micro and macro managing at the same time.

'I tell you something. This is what I like more than anything at the moment: you can't tell who's going to win any race. It could be four or five drivers at Silverstone. Probably Seb (Vettel). It would be nice to see him win. Or Michael (Schumacher). He is my hero – my favourite of the last decade.

'When I play Seb at backgammon he gets so aggravated when he loses. I tell him he should not get so angry because he loses most of the time.' That's Bernie Ecclestone. Still winning at 81.

Revealed: How police "blamed drunken Liverpool fans" for Hillsborough disaster

Revealed: How police 'blamed drunken Liverpool fans' for Hillsborough disaster

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UPDATED:

11:47 GMT, 16 March 2012

Families of Hillsborough victims reacted with outrage yesterday after it was revealed Merseyside Police told Margaret Thatcher the disaster was caused by drunken Liverpool fans.

Leaked documents show how senior officers blamed disorderly supporters just days after the 1989 stadium tragedy which left 96 dead.

At least one Liverpool-based policeman said he was ‘ashamed’ of the spectators’ behaviour.
Former chief constable: Sir Kenneth Oxford with his wife Muriel after receiving a CBE

Former chief constable: Sir Kenneth Oxford with his wife Muriel after receiving a CBE

The briefings contrast with the findings of the official inquiry, which pinned the blame on officers responsible for crowd control at the FA Cup semi-final at Sheffield Wednesday’s ground.

Supporters’ groups have been pushing for all documents surrounding the tragedy to be published, claiming there was an attempt to cover up police failings and discredit fans.

Yesterday it emerged that four days after the disaster, a member of then-prime minister Mrs Thatcher’s policy unit met Merseyside officers for their views on the cause.

According to the document, leaked to the BBC, chief constable Sir Kenneth Oxford told the adviser: ‘A key factor in causing the disaster was the fact that large numbers of Liverpool fans had turned up without tickets.

Hillsborough

‘This was getting lost sight of in attempts to blame the police, the football authorities, etc.’

Another – unnamed – officer was said to have directly blamed the supporters.

‘One officer, born and bred in Liverpool, said that he was deeply ashamed to say that it was drunken Liverpool fans who had caused this disaster, just as they had caused the deaths at Heysel,’ the note said.

The document is initialled ‘MT’, suggesting it was read by Mrs Thatcher, and the phrase ‘drunken Liverpool fans’ is underlined by hand.
Tragedy: Ninety-six people died at the Hillsborough disaster in 1989

Tragedy: Ninety-six people died at the Hillsborough disaster in 1989

Thirty-nine died at the Heysel stadium in Belgium in 1985 when Liverpool supporters charged Juventus fans.

Although the inquest into the Hillsborough deaths was told that vast quantities of alcohol had been consumed before kick-off, the official Taylor Report blamed the tragedy on blunders by South Yorkshire officers policing the match.

It said opening an exit gate just before kick-off enabled hundreds of fans to pour into a full ‘pen’ on the terraces, causing the fatal crush.

The Hillsborough Independent Panel, set up in 2009, is reviewing all official papers relating to the disaster with a view to their release later this year.

Blame: Another policeman also blamed Liverpool fans for the deaths, according to the document

Blame: Another policeman also said Liverpool fans were responsible for the deaths, according to the document

Sheila Coleman, of the Hillsborough Justice Campaign, said: ‘We are obviously disgusted with the views of Merseyside Police but to some of us that will come as no surprise.’

And Margaret Aspinall, whose 18-year-old son James died in the stadium, said the note confirmed her fears of an attempted cover-up.

‘The thing I’m most upset about is the way they are accusing the fans,’ she said.

‘They watched videos of what happened
that day and they (have seen) survivors running along with bodies and
maybe people who may be still alive on hoardings. They were the heroes
that day.

Disapproving: Sir Kenneth was concerned about Anfield being turned into a 'shrine', according to the papers

Disapproving: Sir Kenneth was concerned about Anfield being turned into a 'shrine', according to the papers

‘I find all of that absolutely appalling. Ninety-six lives and he was uneasy about it made into a shrine.

‘The
people who were there that day – the survivors, the fans – all needed
somewhere to go to show respect and to be grateful that no more had
died. He was ashamed that was made into a shrine. How appalling is
that’

Labour MP Andy Burnham, who has backed efforts to secure the documents’ release, said: ‘These papers seem to confirm what we’ve believed for many, many years – that immediate attempts were made from the highest levels to shift the blame on to the supporters and away from the police.’

Margaret Thatcher was told about the views of Merseyside Police four days after the tragedy

Margaret Thatcher was told about the views of Merseyside Police four days after the tragedy

A controversial figure, Sir Kenneth – who died in 1998 – was frequently at loggerheads with the city’s Labour-dominated police authority.

Last night former assistant chief constable Alison Halford, who was in charge of the force’s initial response to the disaster, said she was shocked by his views.

‘There was no suggestion at the time that fans were drunk,’ she said. ‘Sir Kenneth never spoke to me about what had happened and I find his comments absolutely appalling.’

Merseyside Chief Constable Jon Murphy said it would be inappropriate to comment.

Sheila Coleman of the Hillsborough
Justice Campaign said she was disgusted but not surprised at the views
expressed by the police.

‘Those
of us who were around Liverpool in the 1980s are well aware of Ken
Oxford’s racist and bigoted views, Presumably he recruited senior
officers with a similar mindset,’ she told the programme.

‘We are obviously disgusted with the views of Merseyside Police but to some of us that will come as no surprise.’

She also expressed concern at the timing of the leak and the fact that none of the papers related to the South Yorkshire force.

‘That
makes us very suspicious of how this information was leaked,’ she said.
‘Merseyside Police would have been informed by South Yorkshire Police.

‘We
find it a strange coincidence that this information is leaked only days
after we found out the panel are not going to report until the autumn.’

Hillsborough disaster blamed on "drunken Liverpool fans", Margaret Thatcher was told

Thatcher told tragic Hillsborough disaster caused by 'drunken Liverpool fans'

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UPDATED:

15:53 GMT, 15 March 2012

Former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was told that a senior Merseyside Police officer blamed 'drunken Liverpool fans' for the 1989 Hillsborough football stadium disaster, according to leaked government papers.

The documents show that four days after the tragedy, a member of Mrs Thatcher's No 10 policy unit met senior Merseyside officers who told her large numbers of Liverpool fans turning up without tickets had been a 'key factor' in what happened.

Dark day: Leaked reports have revealed that former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was told by police that Hillsborough disaster was caused by 'drunken Liverpool fans'

Dark day: Leaked reports have revealed that former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was told by police that Hillsborough disaster was caused by 'drunken Liverpool fans'

Ninety-six fans died following a crush on the overcrowded terraces at the stadium in Sheffield where Liverpool were due to play an FA Cup semi-final match in April 1989.

There was deep anger in the city after South Yorkshire Police, who were responsible for policing the game, blamed Liverpool fans who turned up drunk, late, and without tickets, for what happened.

However the papers, obtained by BBC Radio 4's The World at One suggest that view was shared by their colleagues on Merseyside itself.

They include a note addressed to Mrs Thatcher dated April 20 1989 headed 'Merseyside Police views on Hillsborough' and marked 'Confidential'.

Tragedy: 96 Liverpool supporters died during the Hillsborough stadium disaster in 1989

Tragedy: 96 Liverpool supporters died during the Hillsborough stadium disaster in 1989

It contains an account of what was said to be a long-planned meeting between the No 10 adviser and the then Merseyside chief constable Sir Kenneth Oxford and other senior officers from the force.

According to the note, Sir Kenneth said: 'A key factor in causing the disaster was the fact that large numbers of Liverpool fans had turned up without tickets.

'This was getting lost sight of in attempts to blame the police, the football authorities, etc.'

Another officer – who was not named – was said to have directly blamed the supporters.

Report: The police officer was also uneasy about the way fans were turning Anfield into a 'shrine', according to the document submitted to Thatcher

Report: The police officer was also uneasy about the way fans were turning Anfield into a 'shrine', according to the document submitted to Thatcher

'One officer, born and bred in Liverpool, said that he was deeply ashamed to say that it was drunken Liverpool fans who had caused this disaster, just as they had caused the deaths at Heysel,' the note said.

Thirty-nine people had died at the Heysel stadium in Belgium when rioting Liverpool supporters charged Juventus fans before the 1985 European Cup final.

Sir Kenneth, who died in 1998, was also said to have expressed concern at the way Liverpool's Anfield ground had been turned into a 'shrine' by grieving fans.

'He deplored the press's morbid concentration on pictures of bodies. He was also uneasy about the way in which Anfield was being turned into a shrine,' the note said.

AUSTRALIAN OPEN 2011: Marcos Baghdatis breaks four rackets defeat to Stanislas Wawrinka

Smashing! Baghdatis breaks FOUR rackets in fit of rage during defeat to Wawrinka

Cypriot hot-head Marcos Baghdatis incredibly smashed up four of his rackets during his second round loss to Stanislas Wawrinka at the Australian Open.

The furious outburst on the Margaret Court Arena by the former finalist of the first Grand Slam of the year has already become a YouTube sensation.

Smashing: Baghdatis assesses the damage

Smashing: Baghdatis assesses the damage

Baghdatis briefly improved following his fit if rage, winning the third set in his 7-6, 6-4, 5-7, 6-1 defeat.

Destroying of rackets on court has been
commonplace in tennis since the days of John McEnroe, but rarely if ever
has there been a display quite like Baghdatis'.

His fellow professionals had plenty to say about it.

French sixth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga said: 'Sometimes you get angry and it’s difficult to control yourself but my father told me all the time, “if you broke the racket, I broke you”.

'So I go easy with the racket.'

But former French Open champion Ana Ivanovic sympathised with the Cypriot. She said: 'I do smash rackets sometimes.

There goes another: The Cypriot doesn't even bother to unwrap the last racket in his spree

There goes another: The Cypriot doesn't even bother to unwrap the last racket in his spree

'Last time I smashed not as many, but I smashed three rackets. That was US Open in 2009, I think.

'I lost the match after being a match point up. I was quite upset but it didn’t really make me better, so I decided, “what’s the point”'

Five-time Australian Open champion Serena Williams offered a slightly more light-hearted view of the incident.

She said: 'I’ve never done that. That’s impressive, wow.

Out: Wawrinka remonstrates with Baghdatis after the match

Out: Wawrinka remonstrates with Baghdatis after the match

'I actually used to break a lot of rackets on the court. I sometimes break them in practice, just not in a match anymore.

'I think when you’re young it kind of maybe lets out a little frustration. It’s just a way to express yourself.

'I can’t necessarily go and say you shouldn’t do that when I was actually someone that did it a lot.

'But it’s definitely not the best way to release your anger. I think the older you get, you realize there’s more different ways.'