Jon Walters on Ireland's 'French Foreign Legion' security at Euro 2016 4 years ago

Jon Walters on Ireland's 'French Foreign Legion' security at Euro 2016

No half measures here.

On Liquid Football, Jon Walters joined host Kelly Cates and former Chelsea and Fulham star Steve Sidwell. The trio discussed the increasing need for footballers to have protection after a spate of robberies and threats received.


The last decade has seen a host of footballers have their homes targeted for burglaries when they are playing away games. Sidwell noted that Chelsea often use a security firm to check in on houses, and families, of their players when they are off on club duty.

Arsenal footballers Mesut Ozil and Sead Kolašinac were advised to miss the opening day of the Premier League season after they received threats. Kolašinac had prevented a car-jacking of Ozil's vehicle when he fought off a couple of men but the pair were forced to sit out the club's last few games as the threats against them were assessed.

Jonathan Walters and Shane Long after Ireland's Euro 2016 draw with Sweden. (©INPHO/James Crombie)

Jon Walters recalled his time at Euro 2016 with Ireland, in France, and how the country's authorities were not taking half measures in looking after each team that arrived for the tournament.

"We went to France for the Euros, with Ireland. We were assigned three guys and there a little, small guy - I think his name was Denny - and two bigs guys.

"We got to know them during the weeks and we realised they did security so we were finding out their stories. They were in the French Foreign Legion and they were tough guys. But the smallest one was the boss and they were saying, 'He is one tough guy'.

"We were saying, 'What have you got? What have you got?' He brought out this suitcase in his bedroom and he had machine guns, every gun, rifles. Everything in his room.

"He was on the top floor of our hotel as every team must have been assigned people by the French government, because there had been terrorist attacks at the time.

"So, come the end of the trip, we were all in the airport and were saying bye to them. And the lads were like, 'Go on, give us your gun!' So he took all the cartridges or bullets out and the lads were there posing with the guns for photos."

The lads got their snaps but Walters adds no-one shared them on social media. Wise move.

Walters and Sidwell (from 33:00 below) also discussed how many footballers are getting their own security firms in and attack dogs that can turn deadly with just one command: