MOST people know that I made my career as a WAG. While married to ex-Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur footballer Jason Cundy, I lived through two World Cups and enjoyed every minute of it.
Despite Jason and I separated in 2010, a lot of my money was earned through our marriage.
But the new breed of WAGs (wives and girlfriends) is a very different breed.
They keep such a low profile that I don’t think many people could name half of England’s team partners.
Although most are in their 20s, many 2022 WAGs are married to their other halves, have children together, and have careers of their own — some as influencers with hundreds of thousands of social media followers.
We don’t see them getting drunk on Veuve Clicquot and dancing on tables, they have reputations to protect.
All of this is millions of miles away from the tournament where the term “WAGs” was coined.
During Germany’s infamous 2006 World Cup, wives and girlfriends went wild at the England team base in Baden-Baden, shopping and dumping tens of thousands of pounds on the ‘alcohol.
While these days their every move was listed on social media, back then everything they did made headlines.
At first, some girls liked it, but others were a little scared, having never faced such an examination before.
You must remember that some, like Coleen Rooneyhad barely left school.
Then they realized they could have a career with all the attention they were getting, and their attitudes changed.
I remember Nancy Dell’Olio, the England manager’s girlfriend at the time Sven-Goran Eriksson, called me and said, “I’m the queen of WAGs, I’m with the boss.” Of course she was.
It was amazing and made all the front pages. We had never seen such sites before – and I don’t think we will see them again.
The girls had a lot of power, but Sven followed it all. He liked the focus on the women, because it meant it wasn’t on the men, and they could just focus on the game.
I’m the queen of WAGs, I’m with the boss.
Sven loved women and glamour; that’s what he meant. He wanted his players to be on the back pages of the newspapers, but he didn’t mind that the girls were on the front page as well.
He wanted them there on the sidelines to support their partners. It was amazing. It made the atmosphere amazing – there was a real buzz about it.
But eventually the WAGs became history.
After England lost to Portugal in the quarter-finals, WAG carried the blame.
Two years after this tournament, the English defender Rio Ferdinand said: “We have become a bit of a circus. Football has almost become a secondary element. People cared more about what people were wearing or where they were going than about the England football team.
Things have changed at 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
Unlike Sven, new manager Fabio Capello hated the press attention. He didn’t want the players’ girlfriends or wives to be there.
It suited her to stand in South Africa, because he could tell it was too dangerous and a reason for women to keep a low profile. He wanted to draw attention to football.
We have become a bit of a circus. Football has almost become a secondary element. People cared more about what people were wearing or where they were going than about the England football team.
For this reason, the atmosphere of football matches was totally different. It just wasn’t as fun. It was never the same after that.
The decline of the WAGs began – they were no longer in the limelight.
Maybe some players got a little jealous of the attention their partners were getting too.
They would say, “Why are they all focused on you? What do you know about football?
It should be about me. So you also had this battle of egos.
Unfortunately for Rebecca Vardy – who wanted to take part in the WAG act at the 2018 World Cup in Russia – it was just a bit too late and interest was waning.
And as the 2022 World Cup kicks off today, you’re unlikely to see many WAGs.
If you do, chances are it’s on their neatly curated Instagram Stories that dads break them falling off bars.
Despite Jason and I splitting up in 2010, a lot of my money was earned through our marriage.
They were there to have fun and they didn’t have to worry about losing business contracts or – as is the case this year – going to jail or bringing their country to shame.
The army of WAG accompanying the players in Qatar would stay on a A billion-pound cruise liner off the coast of Dohatheir husbands not being allowed on board.
They were warned that if they put a foot in designer shoes in its place under strict conditions Qatarthey could end up behind bars.
No alcoholno skimpy outfits, no PDAs, no singing in public and no selfies – well, not outside official buildings at least.
It’s not fair that the WAGs support the Welsh team at his first World Cup in 64 years, right?
However, these girls are unlikely to do anything like that, even if they were allowed. They are of a different race.
To be honest, it’s probably best to leave WAGdom in the past anyway, because you’ll never be able to recreate those golden days.
And of course we now have a generation of women who want to follow our Euro winner lionesses not – to be on the field and be the stars themselves.
Although I doubt we’ll see the rise of HABs (husbands and boyfriends).
Unfortunately, I think the idea that WAGs cause harm and are central to the world Cup is a thing of the past.