AFL star’s ‘extraordinary’ Beckham bribe
RIGHT off the bat, it is essential to admit that it is bordering on irresponsible to share this story.
It is part urban legend, part myth and all bloody marvellous (if true).
The reason news.com.au has elected to present this story - albeit unsubstantiated - is that it is simply too good not to share, even if it is just a rumour the Geelong Football Club is trying to keep under wraps.
The most intriguing aspect of the whole saga is that Cats power forward Tom Hawkins says he's heard it's actually true.
So let's start from the beginning.
On Thursday morning, Triple M host and former Channel 9 correspondent Seb Costello told Triple M's Hot Breakfast "perhaps one of the great tall tales of our time" had been swirling around footy circles earlier this week.
"Yesterday footy circles were buzzing with a story that was linked to a player at Geelong," he said.
"Now I should stress that this is just a rumour."
He went on to explain the story surrounds a Geelong player, or a close friend of a Geelong player, booking a room at the iconic Carnoustie Golf Hotel, scoring the deal of a lifetime to get the most coveted suite in the building - with its view out onto the 18th green of the adjoining Carnoustie golf links.
He also just happened to score the room during this week's British Open in the small Scottish town.
Unfortunately, the getaway of a lifetime appeared on the rocks when a phone call out of the blue delivered the devastating news that the coveted suite had been double booked.
That's where the fun begins.
"This year the British Open is at Carnoustie in Scotland. On that course is a beautiful boutique hotel," Costello explained.
"There's one room that everybody wants and that's the suite that has the best views of the 18th green.
"Why wouldn't you want to stay there. To get there, there's an enormous waiting list and to get that suite during the British Open, you're talking about something that takes years of planning to get.
"Well, apparently, the wife of a man who has friends at the Cats, let's call him Angus, organised the surprise of a lifetime. Booked the whole thing. She booked the room, flights over to Scotland and tickets to The Open golf. How good's that?
"Last week the manager rings Angus to say, 'We're really, really sorry. We're double booked. We're moving you to a room down the hall. But to make it up to you, we're going to give you a very special tour of the course.'
"Angus says, 'No way, you're going to have to do better than that.'
"A few days later the hotel calls back and they say, 'Angus, if you move to this room down the hall, we'll give you the course tour and we'll throw in $20,000 in a payment'.
"Angus stands his ground again. He says, 'That's not good enough. I want this room.'
"The hotel says, 'Let me go back to the manager and see what we can do.'
"A few days pass and the manager calls Angus. He says, 'Angus, I've got a question for you. How much do you have left on your mortgage?'"
Angus - taken back a little - says $280,000. The manager says, 'We are prepared top pay you $280,000, (throw in) the course tour and still keep the room down the hall for free if you give up the suite with views of the 18th green.'"
"Angus thinks about it. He says "show me the money" and gives them his bank details.
"Sure enough, two days later the money arrives with a note (which says): 'Thank you for moving for us, (signed) Mr and Mrs Beckham.'"
Obviously the idea of "Golden Balls" Becks and his Spice Girls wife Victoria forking out $280,000 for a hotel room seems just a little too good to be true.
That's not how Hawkins sees it. He says he's been led to believe that the story is "100 per cent true".
"This is quite extraordinary. It's quite remarkable," he told Triple M.
"I got told the story on Thursday (last week) and then played golf with a few mates on Saturday and then somehow by Monday I'm receiving messages from different mates right across the game asking me if the story was true.
"I'm led to believe the story is 100 per cent true, but I got it off a teammate.
"Harry Taylor told me the story. He has the connections and I'm informed that it is true. Unfortunately, it's not one of my close mates.
"Even if it's not true, it is an absolute ripper, so I think I'll continue to tell it."
We couldn't agree more.
Unfortunately, the story's credibility is dented somewhat by similar versions being reported sporadically over the past 18 years.
Ever since the Beckhams tied the knot in 1999, surrounded by stories that they'd paid off a couple to use their wedding venue, the myth has grown.
As recently as 2011, there were reports in the United Kingdom about a bride having her £260,000 mortgage paid off when Victoria Beckham reportedly wanted to use an events venue for her son's christening party.
A spokesman for the Cameron House events venue on the banks of Scotland's Loch Lomond has denied the story of Posh paying somebody else's mortgage.
Similar stories to the Scottish christening double booking have popped up in 2002 and 2008 - both within the UK.
It seems the Cats have been dragged into one of sport's greatest tall tales - but that doesn't mean it's not worth telling.