Twitter footballer named by Sunday Herald, breaking super-injunction

The identity of the football player alleged to have had an affair with a Big Brother star has been revealed by a Scottish newspaper. David Cameron has also waded into the super-injunction row.

Richard Trenholm Former Movie and TV Senior Editor
Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
Expertise Films, TV, Movies, Television, Technology
Richard Trenholm
2 min read

Heard the one about the footballer, the model off Big Brother, the 5,000 tweeters and the prime minister? You almost certainly have, as the player's name is now common knowledge, and David Cameron has also waded into the super-injunction row involving the ball booter.

This weekend, a front-page photo in Scotland's Sunday Herald newspaper identified the player alleged to have had an affair with Big Brother star Imogen Thomas, breaking a super-injunction that aims to prevent the case being mentioned in any way.

The newspaper argued that the super-injunction doesn't apply north of the border, and that it's ridiculous not to report something that's common knowledge to anyone who can access the Web -- and has been widely reported outside the UK.

The name of the footballer has been repeated more than thousands of times on Twitter, and details about the whole business are even on Wikipedia.

David Cameron told ITV's Daybreak this morning that even he knows who the footballer is, and that the law around super-injunctions is "unsustainable". Cameron said that parliament would take a long, hard look at the law.

The Premier League footballer, identified in legal proceedings as 'CTB', kicked off legal action against former Welsh model Imogen Thomas, to prevent her spilling any beans about their alleged affair to the press. Twitter and unknown Twitter users are also being called to account by the naughty boy in question for revealing the existence of his super-injunction.

The whistleblowing Twitter account, which also revealed the alleged affairs and unusual proclivities of other television personalities, is still live. 

The Premier League season ended this weekend, with some players celebrating by bringing their families onto the pitch. That's probably not what another player, known as 'TSE', did. He's reported by the BBC to be involved in legal action against a tweeting journalist, over an affair with someone known only as 'ELP'.

Regardless of whether you think the tawdry antics of vaguely famous folk are actually worth reporting, you have to laugh at the hubris of miscreants spending a small fortune on a super-injunction only to be circumvented by every blog, tweet and website on the Internet.

It's truly poetic justice -- a super-injunction is so effective at gagging the press because it bans even referring to the fact there is an injunction, but it's the very word 'super-injunction' that reveals CTB's real name when typed into Google or Twitter.

On the other hand, legal experts have argued that the unfettered nature of the Web threatens fair trials, as juries and witnesses can be exposed to speculation and information devoid of context. Further, if people are found to be innocent of crimes or indiscretions, searching the Web will continue to besmirch their name, with old stories reporting the original allegations.

Should the footballer come clean, or is he justified in protecting his family and reputation? And how should the law change to fit in with the digital world? Let us know in the comments section below or on our Facebook wall.