Jamie Carragher fought back tears on live television today as he apologised for ‘five seconds of madness’ and admitted his behaviour when he spat at a 14-year-old girl was ‘disgusting’.
The former Liverpool and England defender has been suspended by Sky Sports and was told that he will not appear on Monday Night Football this evening.
His £1million-a-year Sky Sports contract hangs in the balance after he was axed by Danish channel TV3 Sport.
But he today issued a grovelling apology to the schoolgirl after shocking footage showed him spit when her father ‘goaded him’ when Liverpool lost to Manchester United on Saturday.
Carragher, who is worth £15million, said that what he did was the ‘lowest of the low’ during the explosive interview and added that he hasn’t handed in his resignation.
His co-star on MNF, Gary Neville, today tweeted his support and said that the ‘isolated incident’ shouldn’t stop them from working together.
Speaking to Sky News, Carragher said: ‘A moment of madness which is difficult to explain.
‘Watching those clips back it feels like an out of body thing – just that moment of madness for four or five seconds.
‘No matter what the circumstances for anyone you can’t ever behave like that. That is just unacceptable.
‘My biggest regret is for the 14-year-old girl to be caught in the middle of it. That devastates me more than anything.
‘I have a young daughter exactly the same age and if somebody had done that it’s difficult for me to find the words to how I would react.’
The 40-year-old father-of-two was forced to watch the video which showed the moment he leaned out of his window and spat at the car.
He added: ‘It’s a poor message of not just about being in the game, it’s a poor message for everyone out there – man, woman or children. It’s the lowest of the low.
‘All I can do now is obviously speak to you and speak to the family again and apologise as much as I can.
‘I am being vilified and rightly so because if someone in that game had done that – I was commentating on the Manchester United vs Liverpool game – I would have to vilify them for the next few days.
‘It’s difficult to explain, the moment of madness, it was four of five seconds. I lost it and I made a huge mistake – I wish I could go back.
‘I have never done it before and I will never do it again, I can just try and go back to the person that I am.’
Speaking about his future, he added: ‘I have not offered that (my resignation), I am working out the best way to go forward.
Neville wrote online: ‘I’ve just watched Carra23 say sorry. No excuses he’s made a big mistake.
‘He’s massively passionate about football and he’s overstepped the mark and shouldn’t have reacted.
‘I’ve been on TV for 3 years with him and imo this isolated incident shouldn’t stop us working together.’
Just hours before the interview he was pulled from a Danish channel’s line-up to cover the match between Manchester United and Sevilla tomorrow night.
He was later suspended by Sky and they said his behaviour was ‘well below the standards they expect’.
A Sky spokesman said: ‘Sky takes this matter extremely seriously and strongly condemns Jamie’s actions, we have made that clear to him in person today and suspended him from his duties.
‘It falls well below the standards we expect of our people.’
Carragher arrived in London this morning to discuss his job and claimed he ‘did not see’ the schoolgirl before he spat at her father’s car from the window of his Range Rover.
The unnamed girl told the Mirror: ‘I have never been spat at by anyone before. I thought, ‘Why has he done that’. I thought I had done something wrong.
‘People in school take the mick and it is just a laugh. Someone like him who is older should be able to take a joke.’
She was left in tears after his saliva hit her in the face and said he should have ‘taken it as a joke’ when her father shouted ‘2-1, 2-1, unlucky Jamie lad, 2-1 lad’ following the game on Saturday.
Carragher said this morning: ‘I’ll speak to the family again. I’m sorry. I’ll apologise again today properly.
‘I didn’t (see the girl), to be honest, she was leant back. I wish she wasn’t involved. I hate that she was involved more than anything.’
The girl’s 38-year-old mother was ‘extremely angry’ and said that what Carragher did was the ‘lowest of the low’.