Former Blackburn and West Ham striker Benni McCarthy robbed of his wedding ring, watch and earrings at gunpoint in South African barber shop

  • Footballer was getting a haircut in Melrose, a wealthy part of Johannesburg
  • The armed robbers went straight to McCarthy and pointed a gun in his ear
  • McCarthy tried to hide his wedding ring but they demanded he hand it over 
  • Other nine people weren't robbed in what agent said was a targeted attack 
  • McCarthy hopes it will highlight the plight of ordinary South Africans 

Three armed robbers walked into the barbershop and headed straight for Benni McCarthy, pictured here playing for Blackburn Rovers

Three armed robbers walked into the barbershop and headed straight for Benni McCarthy, pictured here playing for Blackburn Rovers

Former Blackburn striker Benni McCarthy has been robbed at gunpoint while getting a haircut in a wealthy area of Johannesburg.

Three armed robbers walked into the shop in Melrose, a wealthy area of Johannesburg and headed straight for McCarthy, according to his agent, Percy Adams.

They then stuck a gun in the footballer's ear and demanded he hand over his watch and earrings.

His agent said he tried to hide his wedding ring but the robbers spotted his closed hand and said 'give me the ring Baba', so McCarthy was forced to do as they asked.

There were nine other people in the shop and none of them were robbed in what Adams believes was a targeted attack.

No-one was hurt and police have now launched a manhunt for the suspects based on CCTV images. 

McCarthy has played for Blackburn, West Ham and even won the 2004 Champions League Cup with Porto.

He's now studying for a coaching licence with Scottish club Hibernian but as South Africa's highest scoring international, he is a household name there and recognised wherever he goes.

Adams said he had just returned from Disneyland Paris after taking his daughter there and was on a connecting flight.

He was tired and intended to stay in his hotel but ventured out at the last minute to get a haircut.

In an interview with radio station Power FM, Adams said it was odd that McCarthy walked all the way to the barber shop without being stopped in the street for photographs.

When they entered the shop, the robbers seemed to know exactly what they intended to do. 

He said that McCarthy was only a minute or two away from being finished when a man with a magazine over a gun stepped into the shop.

The striker is South Africa's all-time top international goalscorer and is recognised wherever he goes

The striker is South Africa's all-time top international goalscorer and is recognised wherever he goes

Benni McCarthy, pictured left, playing for West Ham United and Jody Craddock of Wolverhampton, right

Benni McCarthy, pictured left, playing for West Ham United and Jody Craddock of Wolverhampton, right

FC Porto's Benni McCarthy, top left, holds the trophy as he celebrates with teammates from FC Porto after beating Monaco 3-0 in the Champions League final in 2004

FC Porto's Benni McCarthy, top left, holds the trophy as he celebrates with teammates from FC Porto after beating Monaco 3-0 in the Champions League final in 2004

Adams said that the robber told the people in the shop to keep quiet and was soon followed by another two who, also believed to be armed, who kept an eye on the other nine people inside.

He added: 'The one man went straight to Benni and put his gun to his ear.

'He told him to give him his watch and earrings.

'Benni closed his one hand, to hide his wedding ring because it is obviously of sentimental value. 

'The man then said: 'Give me the ring Baba' and Benni then handed it to him.'

The armed men pointed a gun in the striker's ear and demanded that McCarthy handed over his jewellery. His agent said he tried to hide his wedding ring but the robbers spotted his closed hand and said 'give me the ring Baba', so McCarthy was forced to do as they asked

The armed men pointed a gun in the striker's ear and demanded that McCarthy handed over his jewellery. His agent said he tried to hide his wedding ring but the robbers spotted his closed hand and said 'give me the ring Baba', so McCarthy was forced to do as they asked

During this exchange, the last armed man who entered the shop repeatedly kept telling the occupants of the shop to 'take it easy and chill' said Adams.

The gunmen then exited the store, having only took personal valuables from McCarthy.

He believes this was a targeted theft and McCarthy was singled out.

He also said that McCarthy is recovering from the ordeal well and that this robbery was representative of what ordinary South Africans go through daily.

'He said he hopes this will highlight the plight of ordinary people as the robbers probably steal from other people every day.'

The South Africa goalkeeper and captain Senzo Meyiwa was shot and killed in what was believed to be a house robbery at his home near Johannesburg last year. Police are still investigating.