Football legend quit Edinburgh mansion due to robbery

South African legend Benni McCarthy in action for Whitehill Welfare against Hamilton Accies. Picture; Contributed

South African legend Benni McCarthy in action for Whitehill Welfare against Hamilton Accies. Picture; Contributed

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FOOTBALL legend Benni McCarthy has told how he quit his Edinburgh home after it was raided by burglars.

The former Porto and Blackburn Rovers star was on holiday with Scottish wife Stacey when thieves targeted their mansion.

They swiped his luxury Range Rover and laptop computers and also made a failed attempt to take his Mercedes-Benz.

The South African said the robbery had left his wife terrified to return to the house and they have moved to another part of the city.

The 38-year-old, who is set to join Neil Lennon’s coaching staff at Hibernian, told how he and Stacey and their children were on their first day of a family holiday in Dubai earlier this year when their home was robbed.

Speaking to a South African newspaper, he said: “The b****rs took computers and stole my Range Rover.

“They took the Mercedes keys. They could not get it out of the garage, so I guess the keys were a consolation.

“I’m just glad my daughters were not in the house. I would have probably tried to fight to protect them

“Now my wife, she was scared you know, she didn’t want to continue living in that house any more and then she left to go stay with her mother.

“When a woman is scared, you must act, and we’ve moved to a nearby neighbourhood.

“You see, the people back there at home must know that this crime is everywhere, it is all over, not just there.

“It is just that in South Africa they also kill, they just don’t take, they hammer you.

“We have bought another place, still in Edinburgh. The issue of security had to be taken care of.”

McCarthy said he was happy that the family was not in the house when the burglars broke in.

He added: “We had just gone on holiday; in fact it was on our first day in Dubai when we were alerted of the break-in.

“Where I come from, I didn’t have nothing. I had to leave home and everything behind to make a success of myself. And then people just come and want to take, just like that.”

The robbery is not the first time that McCarthy, a Champions League winner with Porto under Jose Mourinho in 2004, had fallen victim to crime.

He was robbed at gunpoint at a barbershop in Johannesburg in May last year. The three robbers were not interested in other patrons at the salon and targeted McCarthy, who was in the country to do commentating work.

They took his wedding ring, watch and a diamond earring.

McCarthy wed model and former Miss Edinburgh Stacey, 32, in the capital in May, 2014. The couple met when he was filming an advert for Nike in Edinburgh.

He previously said: “We met in Edinburgh. I went there on a shoot and she was one of those pretty girls they have as extras. I couldn’t concentrate on what I was supposed to do.”