Gentleman John Paintsil

An extract from a new book by Craig Murray, former UK Ambassador to Uzbekhistan…

In December 2008 I found myself sitting next to Baroness Amos on an airport bus heading for the plane to Accra. Once on board she moved to Business class while due to overbooking I was downgraded to Economy Plus.I shared this fate with John Paintsil, the Fulham and Ghana wing-back. We sat together and I must say he is delightful. He was flying back for two days mid-season to take his sick father to hospital. He was extremely polite and unassuming, helped other passengers with their luggage, put up with my conversation about football, and was evidently devoted to his wife and children. At the end of the flight I saw him search through the cabin to find one of the British Airways Unicef envelopes to make a donation, while not drawing
anyone else’s attention to his gift. We hear a great deal about the terrible behaviour of Premier League footballers. But I am sure there are other John Paintsils.


59 Responses to Gentleman John Paintsil

  1. chris says:

    What a gent!!!
    Reports are coming through city have offered 13million for bellamy.
    Thats an incredible amount for him,double what we paid.
    considering his age,this has to be tempting,but then again Impossible to replace at this stage.

  2. Jimbo says:

    Impossible to replace with 2/3 weeks of the window left?

    It is an attractive offer, sadly I think if we sold one of our best players, it would send out the wrong message and we could see more go.

    Keep hold of Bellamy for the sake of keeping hold of everyone else.

  3. Hermit Road says:

    Alwaya struck me as a genuinely good man. –

  4. Big Casino says:


    And for all those people who continue to stand up for David Di Michele, I hope you were all impressed with yet another dismal cameo by the inept Italian at the weekend…..

    He was only on the pitch for 10-15mins and gave the ball away every time…. he has NO ability, and somehow he is getting ahead of Sears on the bench, week in, week out…. and stifling/limiting Freddie’s opportunities…. if we’re refusing to let Sears go out on loan, then lets get him on the bench in games……

    And where was Dyer at the weekend? Anyone know? I read a comment on the official website that he was left out due to competition for places? I can’t believe that’s true, but if it is, someone tell me how Dyer, (even if he is only 50% match fit), cannot get on the bench ahead of Di Michele?

    Other than that – another decent performance at the weekend…. COYI!!!!!

  5. Rus says:

    Dyer was left out due to match fitness, he was schedule to get 90mins under his belt last Monday in the reserve fixture against Villa, but was postponed due to the weather, hence he was deemed not fit enough to take along. I believe it is better than rushing him back only to lose him to another injury.

    We must not sell Bellamy at any price, once again he proved his worth at the weekend and is forming quite a handy partnership with Cole.

    Pantsil, we salute you

  6. Dax says:

    He comes from Africa, He’s better than Kaka.

    If we sell Bellers for 13mil, I doubt we will be able to find a cheaper replacement that will scores goals for us straight away. That’s far to risky a proposition half way into a season when we only 6 points off relegation, plus I reckon it would be far to much pressure for Cole to carry the majority of the scoring responsibility.

  7. Roy says:

    I reckon we are holding out for £15m for Bellamy. If that offer comes in I believe we will sell as it makes sound economic sense. Man City are paying the price of being bank rolled by the Sheiks and everyone is just sitting tight and letting them keep on upping their offers. Santa Cruz is another example. They will need to pay around £20m for him.
    I hope Bellamy doesn’t go as it would have a negative effect on the team although I do think that he is the most likely of the “big names” to want to leave as he never stays long anywhere.

  8. Roy says:

    Ah, and another thing. Di Michele. What does Zola see in him? Even in the game earlier in the season when he scored twice he had a rubbish game. He seems to be on a different wavelength to the rest of the team, almost as though he has never trained with them. Zola obviously thinks that Sears is not ready yet and also seems loathe to give Tristan more than a few minutes from time to time. Assuming that we won’t see much of Ashton this season – remember how long it took him to get match fit after his last long lay off – we will be very thin in the striking department if Bellamy goes.

  9. Big Casino says:

    Even for £15m, I firmly believe the sale of Bellamy would have a significant and detrimental effect on the team….

    I think things are really starting to come together for us….. from day one I was intreagued and encouraged by the Zola/Clarke appointment, and haven’t once thought these guys weren’t the right pair for us (despite many ex-hammers and fans saying otherwise)… the team/squad has a great mix of youth and experience, with a lot of players at their prime/peak or approaching it… the spirit in the camp seems good, the football is generally good, and results and performances are improving…. lets not dismantle what is being built for any sum of money….

  10. Roshi says:

    Good to read about John Pantsil, shame the same can’t be said for one of our fallen idols who has just been sentenced to 4 years (suspended for 2 years) as reported on the BBC News Website

  11. SJ Chandos says:

    In common with every other established PL team, relegation would be a utter disaster for the club. It’s consequences are unthinkable. At this juncture our prospects are beginning to look very bright indeed. We should be looking forward to an assault on the top 7 and a possible EUFA cup place. We cannot risk losing Bellamy, upsetting the balance and morale of the team and sending out the wrong message. Also, why boost one of the teams below us?

    £15m will not seem that great a coup if our season falls apart as a result. Major decisions like that should be taken in the summer when we have the time to recruit a replacement. We will not get £15m in the summer, but it is a lot safer !

  12. SJ Chandos says:

    I would like to see some movement in offloading Faubert. I just do not think he will cut the mustard in he PL. Apparently, some of the French big guns are interested, so do a deal for about £4.5m. Also, Bolton have apparently reneged on the Davenport deal! We need to find another buyer asap! Hopefully Hull City will take Boa Morte off our hands for about £2.5m!

    What on earth is happening with Lopez? If the club are not happy with him then move him on and bring in another player on loan! Tristan needs more match time and Di Michele, well I suppose he will stay as a squad player until the Summer? Surely they will not buy him, will they? What is happening with Gabbidon? I really rate him and If he was fit I think he would be the preferred partner for Upson. But is he coming back? He has been a long time out injured!

    If Boa Morte and Faubert are going and no wide players are coming in, then Reid and Stanislaus need to come back from loan and be re-integrated in to the squad. It puts a lot of pressure on them, but in Reid’s case it is about time he started showing that he can do the business. This might be his opportunity. Alternatively, perhaps they will bring a wide player in on loan.

    Additionally, we also have the Zorro and the two South Americans on trial. It will be interesting to see what happens there?

  13. Big Casino says:

    The fact that teams such as Man City, Tottenham and even Aston Villa are being linked with Bellamy (3 clubs supposedly all with Champions League ambitions), and could even bid up £15m for him, shows how highly he is thought of and valued…. even in the summer if £15m was offered, I’d still be tempted to keep him…

    There aren’t many strikers with the pace and ability of Bellamy…. he’s a rare talent, and a player who will always be a threat in games….

  14. mokumhammer says:

    Always will & be a selling club. It’s the west ham ‘way’

  15. Roshi says:

    It’s just been announced on West Ham News that we have rejected Man City’s latest bid for Bellamy.
    Shame for Man City, it just goes to show that however much money you have, you cannot convince the public or players you are anything but a middle of the road club in the shadow of Old Trafford.

  16. claret bobby says:

    mokumhammer, don’t be such a misery! Some of us have some hope for the future!

  17. SJ Chandos says:

    Apparently, Birmingham City are interested in Davenport, so there may be a deal to be done there? What has happened to Quashie? Is he still with Birmingham or has he come back?

    Mokumhammer, such fatalism, perhaps you might be pleasantly surprised this January window? You have to foster some hope regarding the future of the club or else what’s the point?

    Mind you, I think a lot of the doom and gloom brigade posting on other websites would be sorely disappointed if they did not have something to moan about! It is also interesting how a lot of fans need a aunt sally to lob their verbal projectiles at. It was Carlton Cole and now some are starting to snipe at Mark Noble! Still they pays their money and they are entitled to their opinions!

    I always give Trevor Brooking as an example of young players finding their feet. Everyone remembers him as the Hamers legend that he became. But how many remember the Trev of c.1969/70? I well remember the collective groans of the crowd, as a young kid, when his name was included on the team sheet. He was nearly sold to Southampton about that time. But he realised his potential around 1971 and the rest is history, as they say.

  18. claret bobby says:

    nicely said SJ. Isn’t undying optimism what we’re all about?

  19. SJ Chandos says:

    Yep, claret bobby, it’s all in the words of our anthem bubbles! Perhaps, just perhaps one day they will reach the sky!

  20. SJ Chandos says:

    That does not mean we should be uncritical about the club’s ownership or management, where necessary. I would never suggest that! It is just that we need to foster hope and the belief that one day our club will realise it’s potential. Keep the faith, because that is what supporting West Ham is, a faith!

  21. SJ Chandos says:

    Also, these days we are under such sustained assault from all sides that we have had to develop a bit of a seige mentality! We have so many enemies that we need to show some unity amongst ourselves in defending our club against it’s many detractors. A football club is a powerful thing, it links the loyalty and support of generations gone and those still to come!

    That is one of the things I feel so uncomfortable about. Spurs fans posting on other websites showing such vindictive glee at the thought of West Ham’s ruin. I dislike Spurs, but I would never wish that they did not exist! That is outside the terms of reference of football rivalary. We need each other for that rivalry to exist. To love our own club, surely we must by extension respect the love that others have for they clubs.

  22. Roshi says:

    Following on from SJ Chandos, I remember Trevor in those early years. He was known as Bambi as he was all gangly and forever falling over, mind you what a footballer.

  23. Goatygav says:

    What a top bloke. Nice to hear someone with something positive to say about fooball or footballers.

  24. Bobby says:

    Does anyone agree with the thing on setanta about Bellamy is in Manchester today?

    Here’s the link :

    Setanta have been the website to keep taking digs at us, so i think its a load of bollocks.

  25. SJ Chandos says:

    How’s this for a possible deal. Sell Faubert to Glasgow Rangers for Kris Boyd plus cash! What do you think?

  26. claret bobby says:

    depends how much cash we’d have to spend! 🙂

  27. SJ Chandos says:

    I was kind of suggesting that Faubert was worth Boyd plus a cash sum! But perhaps you have got it right Claret Bobby! I just remember that they were really keen on Faubert when we signed him. Suggesting the Rangers are involved might also get the French clubs bidding!

    I think that Boyd has potential as a striker. There is allegedly question mark over his temperment and a doubt whether he would quickly adapt to the faster pace of the PL, but he is possibly a cut above the Championship!

  28. claret bobby says:

    Lol, never really seen much of Boyd but having just looked on you tube he does look like a useful player. Maybe to fill in if Cole has another barren spell?

  29. SJ Chandos says:

    Hopefully, the club will hold firm on keeping Bellamy. Beyond that the big concern is that Bellamy stays fit! If he was out for a period we would have to rely on Sears stepping up or, alternatively, it is Tristan or Di Michele! Is Sears ready to shoulder that responsibility? Are Tristan or Di Michele up to it?

    Nani seems to think that Di Michele is another Di Canio, but there has not been much evidence of it so far. Another goal scorer, even on loan would give us some insurance.

  30. D&G says:

    What exactly has Mokumhammer said wrong? Up to now we have always been a selling club.

    Is the truth hard to swallow? Let’s hope WHU prove us wrong for a change, up to now they are. The West Ham of old would of accepted that offer for Bellamy.

    There again they don’t want another manager walking out on them hahahaha

  31. IronMick says:

    I’m very happy that we have rejectd the bid for Bellamy, just hope that this is not just a ploy to get as much money as posible from Manchesters moneybag ( but still second) team.
    I think he is the one player we NEED to keep hold of as we have no cover in that area, ola clearly doesn’t see Sears as quite ready yet, and Di Michele and Tristan are in my opinion, well…crap.
    BTW Iain you just got a namechecked on Channel 4 news, they were talking about political blogs. Nice

  32. Eric says:

    I think Bellars will agree to see out the season then come summer everything will be up in the air.
    He seems to have a great relationship with Zola. Would hate to see him go still. I really enjoy his reactions on the pitch. It’s great

  33. the headmaster says:

    SJ Chandos – is Dale paying you by the post, old son?

  34. FrannyZola says:


    Visit Murray’s site…very good.

    As for John Paintsil, what can you say. You can only hope that for every John Terry (parks in disabled bays because a fine don’t mean a thing and gambles thousands of pounds), that there are many John Paintsils.

  35. chris says:

    I’m rather worried that all our wide players are on the way out or gone already!
    We will end up like chelsea!
    Or is this the way zola and clarke see us at present,a solid four in midfield with bellars running the channels….Thoughts everyone please!!

  36. chris says:

    This is a personal message to ilunga……Please sign and stay with us you are twice the player Mccartney was.(sorry to anyone who does not agree.)

  37. SJ Chandos says:

    Headmaster is there a limit? If so no one told me?

  38. chris says:

    Just in…..One radio station is saying city have just offered 16m for bellamy!!!!!
    This has to be a winde up.

  39. the headmaster says:

    clearly not.

  40. SJ Chandos says:

    And anyway Headmaster if I was being paid by the post you could triple it at least! Mr Dale would be paying out some serious money! lol.

  41. E1 says:

    If city are willing to pay 16m then we have got to take it, he’s 29 and has a bad injury record, for that money we have got to be able to get somebody who is as good and younger!!
    Bite their hand off I say !!!!! If we play lopez wide left and Dyer wide right we could get away with cole and tristin or sears recieving plenty of balls in the box. IN business you have speculate to accumilate( and know how to spell) It would’nt be the end of the world if we sold him I’m sure we could muddle through, after all we have done for the last couple of years.

  42. redkipper says:

    Not 16 but £10m according to the latest ‘Star’.
    We will give in, if not now then later.
    The problem is we do not have any reall pace in the forwards except Bellamy. I was at the Stoke game which was without Bells and we looked so, so slow up front with out him.
    Its our captain I worred about, no one has bid for him!!

  43. the headmaster says:

    Your posts make excellent reading, SJ. Only kiddin’ fella!
    As for Dale and parting with any readies, can’t see it meself!!

  44. Basildon Bob says:

    I have faith that the core team will stay together (Bellers, Parker, Upson, Green) during this transfer window. There is not enough time get genuine replacements before the windown shuts. Zola, Clarke and the Board know that, which is why they will reject such offers and only consider selling fringe players to reduce the squad/wage bill.

    If the Club is for sale as we are led to believe, it would make no sense to sell off the “silverware” and run the risk of getting relegated, no matter what the offer. BG needs the club to survive this season so that he can demonstrate to any new investor another season of premiership revenue.

    Still look on the brightside at leas we don’t support spurs (sorry didn’t mean to swear)

    Finally, Good to hear a nice story involving a footballer. Sadly this type of thing would never be reported in a national newspaper, as it is not considered “sensational” enough.

  45. irontc says:

    Talking about payments for contributions, this old joke has got to be worth a washer or 2 …….

    When Harry first turned up at Shite Hart Lane he couldnt beleive the fabulous condition of the pitch!

    He summoned the head groundsman and enquired – ”how the hell have you made this pitch look so fantastic?”

    The head groundsman replied….” Well its quite simple Mr. Rednapp, every other week we put 40 million pounds worth of shite on it !”

    boom boom

  46. chris says:

    Neill has a sweet volley play him up front,has anybody notice our problems always come from that side where neil is,

  47. irontc says:

    Many top class Aussie sports people are world beaters – Shame about Neill

  48. irontc says:

    Its probably a bit off critisising our captain – but hey – I dont like him!

  49. LJ says:

    I think we all loved Paintsil and I’m sure he’ll get a good reception on Sunday.

    His Rivaldo moment against Stoke was disappointing but then of course we got to see for ourselves what it’s really like out there when Stoke play and when Fuller really does lamp someone!

  50. OZ ex chicken runner says:

    If Man City are after Bellamy and Parker, and by all accounts Upson (what about Green??) then I would suggest that their new owners have bought the wrong club..would have been cheaper to buy us!! (they can keep Hughes) I was always sad to see Paintsill go, I thought he would be ok..By the way I watched Brooking from when he was in the South East Counties league with us, always a great talent but didn’t he fall over a lot then..but you could see he was class, and was he ever!!

  51. SJ Chandos's Keyboard says:

    I’m really worn out, tired and I need a break!

  52. SJ Chandos says:

    OZ, ex chicken runner, nice observation about Man City’s owners and their pursuit of our key players. Also agree with you about Hughes!

    At the other end of Trev’s career, I once met a guy who played against him when he played for Havering NALGO after retirement. His observation was he did not realise how physically big he was and no one could even get remotely near him, let alone the ball. Those that tried strong arm challenges just bounced off him! You always think of his skill, but not his strength on the ball!

    What would he be worth if he was playing today? You could not put a evaluation on him!

  53. colney says:

    lbm agreed fee with hull.crack open the shampoo,order the cab and lets get right on it…..wahooooooooooo !

  54. SJ Chandos says:

    Yeah good news jon.londoncoluney, as long as Luis plays ball. Mind you, put yourself in his shoes, London or Hull!!!!! Tough choice. Still if he wants regular 1st team football it’s in Hull. We could end up facing him on 27th January! What’s the betting he play’s like his Portugese compatriot, Cristanio Ronaldo against us!!

    And whatabout the rumour about Newcastle Utd wanting Quashie! It has resurfaced again today. It could not be true could it? Quick, allocate him a squad number and slap a £4m price tag on him! What a hoot if it’s true, especially after the way that the Toon fans tried to rib us about about buying Dyer, Bellamy, Parker and Bowyer!

    Perhaps they are thinking ahead to next season and the Championship! lol.

  55. LondonLaurie says:

    Hi Iain. I tried mailing this to the email address you offer. But it bounced. Hopefully you will pick up my request here.

    I am writing in the hope that I can engage your help in raising awareness of an issue I have just come across on the West Ham club site.

    I work in the mobile industry and so am familiar with Premium TV. This company provides mobile services to Premiership clubs but since their contract does not include replays of goals the offer is pretty dull and has failed to achieve anticipated returns. Doubtless this has driven the Terms and Conditions that I have just read on the West Ham site as they attempt to derive some revenues from this relationship.

    Can I ask you to use your excellent blog to bring to the attention of all West Ham fans exactly what they are signing up for when they join the “West Ham Mobile Zone”. Their data protection policy effectively sees every member “opt in” for every type of marketing you can imagine, they can look forward to unrequested mail, email and even phone calls. But that is the thin end of the wedge. This is mobile and so the extent to which data can be collected about any individual is intrusive to say the least… they know exactly where you are!!
    Worse is that they reserve the right to change the terms and conditions at any time and your continued use of the site is considered acceptance.
    It is a long long time since I saw any organisation deliver up their customers to this level of invasive marketing and I see it as an abuse of the trust the club is held in to invite fans to put their name down for this. The vast majority will not read those T’s and C’s after all.
    Finally, and in another significant departure from the modern approach, one I have not seen for years, there is no option to sign up for the mobile services and opt out of this marketing. Please urge fans not to join under the current terms.

  56. Andrew says:

    I suppose the real Q is whether Bellamy wants to join up again with Hughes when the latter is in a bit of a hot seat currently. He (Bellers) could imagine moving now, then Hughes getting the sack in the summer (or earlier) and then a new (foreign?) manager coming in and wanting to discard him – a player who is, however you look at it, not in the first flush of youth.

    He could just say thanks Sparky for the interest, but I may just be better off here for the next five months.In the summer perhaps…. If Bellers really wanted to go then I am sure we would have heard noises from some agent or other as soon as the first offer came in.

  57. colney says:

    ide be gutted if i were a man city suporter,kaka,ronaldo,messi were all on the shopping list,and its bellamy there after.dont make sence!!!

  58. budgie says:

    We may have always been a selling club but we have also always bought players too.
    Those of you to young to know should look at the record books. We paid UK record fees for Johnny Byrne Bobby Ferguson Phil Parkes and bought lots of other expensive players, some good some bad. The economics of football have always been this way.
    If any of you were say Scott Parker ( and I would like him to stay) were offered a 20/30% increase in wages or salry would you not move jobs. The story today about Kaka is really absurd. How can the suggested fee and earnings make any kind of commercial sense. Only in a world of a club being owned by Oil Sheikhs I suppose.

  59. SJ Chandos says:

    I am sorry, I love my football, but the offer of a £500,00 a week basic wage for a footballer is obscene. No player, no matter how talented, is worth that!

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