Faldo and a Question of Class; the Golfer Who Ruled the World Has Offended Decency with His Sacking of Coach David Leadbetter. A Sportsmail Writer Explains Why People Shouldn't Be Surprised

Daily Mail (London), September 24, 1998 | Go to article overview

Faldo and a Question of Class; the Golfer Who Ruled the World Has Offended Decency with His Sacking of Coach David Leadbetter. A Sportsmail Writer Explains Why People Shouldn't Be Surprised


Byline: MICHAEL MCDONNELL

NICK FALDO has demonstrated once again that for all the many millions of pounds he has amassed through his golfing talent, he has still not been able to buy himself a shred of personal class.

His private life is littered with a succession of bewildered and hurt victims who have been dismissed from his sight and whose only crime was that he had grown bored with them.

Once they lost their usefulness, they were dispatched from Faldo's presence without so much as a second glance or moment's regret.

Their sad ranks include wives, caddies, once-close friends and business acquaintances. The latest casualty is the man who transformed Faldo from an average local winner into a world-beater - the most successful British golfer in the history of the game.

David Leadbetter, who assumed he was a close personal friend as well as being Faldo's personal guru for the last 13 years - Faldo even went to live on the same Florida complex to be near him - received a curt note that decreed his services were no longer required.

Nothing defines Faldo's scant regard for those close to him as much as the manner in which he ditches them. The note simply thanked Leadbetter for his efforts over the years and explained that the decision to sack him was based on 'disappointing performances over the last couple of seasons.' The renowned golf tutor was extremely hurt by such callous treatment and declared: 'You put in a lot of time and effort out there and it's a bit upsetting to get a cursory note to finish it all. It wasn't very classy.' Join the club, David.

Faldo's first wife Melanie had to read in the newspapers that he had ditched her. She sat at home in their Tudor mansion in Hertfordshire while he checked into a Hawaiian hotel with the new love of his life. Even though he later married his new love Gill, who bore him three delightful children, by the time of the 1995 Ryder Cup match at Oak Hill, everybody knew they were finished. She should have be alerted much earlier when she sat next to him at a televised testimonal dinner and he thanked everybody for their support in his career but pointedly left out any mention of his wife. …

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