Reo-Coker defends his pay


Last updated at 01:23 02 March 2007

Nigel Reo-Coker

has defended his

£15,000-a-week wage

packet, insisting he

would never take his

opulent lifestyle for


The West Ham captain

has been the subject of

an angry backlash this

season from fans, many

of whom seem to

question his

commitment to their

club’s fight against


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Such concerns led

manager Alan

Curbishley to criticise

what he described as

the "Baby Bentley"

culture rife in the Upton

Park dressing room.

But Reo-Coker,

speaking in an

interview to lend his

support to the Mayday

for Nurses campaign,

said: "I think this whole

'Baby Bentley' etc,

what has been said

about footballers, it is

just sometimes over

the top.

"Obviously we do get

paid a substantial

amount. That is not

down to us, that is

down to the money

that is involved in the


"People must realise

that footballers are

individuals, they are

normal human beings.

We do have a responsibility and this

because is something

that I strongly believe

in and I am sure a lot of

footballers will believe


Reo-Coker’s mother is a

nurse. He, along with

the likes of Gary Neville,

Jermain Defoe, Ryan

Giggs, Kevin Nolan, Paul

Robinson, Alan Stubbs

and David James, will,

as part of the

campaign, donate a

day’s pay to a nurses’

hardship fund.

Reo-Coker, whose

weekly wage is only

£4,000 less than the

annual earnings of a

registered nurse in the

National Health

Service, insisted he had

worked hard to achieve

his success.

He said: "I never take

anything for granted. I

have had to work hard

to get where I am and

to have the things I

have got. I don’t want

anyone to forget that.

But at the same time I

am always grateful.

"Every day I wake up

and I thank God

because I am grateful

for the things that I

have got, I don’t take it

for granted.

"I don’t feel that I am

better than anyone

else, it is just that I have

been blessed and I am

grateful for the

opportunity I have

been given."