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My Shame; Sheringham: I thought it was curtains.

TEDDY Sheringham yesterday issued a humble public apology for his romp in Portugal and confessed: "I thought my World Cup was over."

Glenn Hoddle accused Sheringham of letting "himself and the team down" for getting caught cavorting with a blonde hostess with a cigarette in his mouth.

Hoddle was powerless to chuck the disgraced Manchester United star out of his 22-man squad for France but warned that Sheringham will now have to fight harder for his starting place.

And Sheringham revealed last night that he feared his World Cup was over - just like Paul Gascoigne's - when he saw the newspaper reports.

Sheringham said: "When I read the papers I thought my place was in danger. When I saw what was being made out of a three-day golfing break, it crossed my mind the same thing could happen to me as happened to Paul Gascoigne.

"I want to apologise to my team-mates, to the England coach and his staff, to my parents and my son.

"I'd also like to apologise for not taking Glenn Hoddle's advice in every detail on how I acted in Portugal.

"I've been proud to be a professional footballer for 15 years and that I have played for England 33 times. I care about what I do and I want to continue playing for England."

Hoddle read Sheringham the riot act at England's Bisham

Abbey headquarters before facing the Press.

Said Hoddle: "Teddy knew how disappointed I was because he has let his team-mates down and himself.

"The players knew what they could do and couldn't do and it was a massive disappointment to me - I really thought they knew that there were no grey areas.

"It was the hour Teddy stayed up more than the amount he drank I was worried about.

"I have had to deal with the kind of hassle I could have done without.

"What has gone on over the past few days is going to be detrimental to Teddy and he's got to start again.

"The problem is that he could be the one to lose out because his body won't be as well prepared as it might have been, although his training has been fine.

"Teddy says he hopes to learn from the experience - I hope he does.

"But I thought Teddy might have learnt his lesson after Hong Kong two years ago."

Hoddle was referring to the Hong Kong incident days before Euro 96 when Sheringham was caught throwing cocktail drinks down his throat in the famous dentist's chair.

Hoddle knows only too well that he is on a hiding to nothing after the way he chucked Paul Gascoigne out of his final 22-man squad just days after Gazza was caught out on the town with his showbiz mates.

But Hoddle hit back: "There are no double standards as far as Paul and Teddy are concerned. Gazza was left out purely because of his fitness - not because of his drinking.

"Teddy's fitness isn't in doubt."

Sheringham claims he was set up by fellow drinkers in the Algarve club where he was seen drinking and smoking into the early hours alongside karaoke bar hostess Jane Halsall.

He added: "Glenn was very unhappy with the lack of professionalism I had shown over the past few days.

"The way things have come out it looks as if I didn't care about jeopardising my England place at the World Cup.

"But I can assure you that is not the case. Things are not always what they seem.

"I can't deny what happened but I am genuinely sorry about how it has looked in the papers.

"I wasn't drunk, and I certainly wasn't smoking. I can't stand cigarettes.

"I posed for a lot of pictures out there and somebody has sold the story.

"I can see how I might have come across.

"The other players have been fine, but I don't know what they are thinking privately.

"I just hope this doesn't sour my relationship with Manchester United."

Hoddle was unable to drop Sheringham because under FIFA rules players named in the final squads can only be changed through injury.

Hoddle maintained that another England player on the front pages, Darren Anderton, was in the clear, even though he was supposed to have been involved in an incident at a Bournemouth night-club.

Said Hoddle: "When this incident was supposed to have happened, Darren wasn't even there!"
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Title Annotation:Sport
Author:Nickless, Graham
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jun 7, 1998
Words:731
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