Coleen Rooney attempted to knock Rebekah Vardy off the top spot ahead of her return to the UK, claims Peter Shilton’s wife Stephanie.
Stephanie has waded in on their ongoing row to claim that the entire feud was masterminded by the Rooney PR team during a bizarre Facebook post.
The wife of the former England footballer has suggested that it was all a ploy for Coleen, 34, to regain popularity in the country and keep her ‘WAG crown’.
Theory: Coleen Rooney attempted to knock Rebekah Vardy off the top spot ahead of her return to the UK, claims Peter Shilton’s wife Stephanie
Coleen previously accused Rebekah, 38, of selling stories from her private Instagram account to British tabloids last year and announced it on social media.
Stephanie, who referred to herself as ‘granny WAG’ in the impassioned post, shared her theory on the feud in a now-deleted Facebook post.
She said: ‘I truly suspect that the Rooney’s and their PR team had a plan prior to Wayne’s return to the U.K. as his reputation was in tatters.
‘I believe top of the list was to mastermind a charity England football match to knock Peter Shilton off being number one cap record holder, enabling Wayne Rooney to be number one cap holder after a 30 year record was held by my Husband!
Feud: Stephanie has waded in on their ongoing row to claim that the entire feud was masterminded by the Rooney PR team during a bizarre Facebook post
‘Knock the Vardy’s off the number one spotlight in particular Rebecca, I suspect the poor pregnant woman was a sitting target.
‘They are both hugely popular in the industry and Rebecca was probably the most well-known modern WAG.’
Stephanie married Peter in November 2016 after he split from his first wife Sue in 2011 after 40 years together.
In October last year Coleen launched an incredible social media attack on fellow footballer’s wife Rebekah, revealing how she set up an elaborate sting on Instagram to ‘catch’ her leaking fake stories, something which Rebekah vehemently denies.
Her dramatic revelation enthralled Britain and sparked an angry denial from Rebekah who said ‘I don’t need the money’ and pointed out other people have had access to her Instagram account.
Having her say! The wife of the former England footballer (pictured) has suggested that it was all a ploy for Coleen, 34, to regain popularity in the country and keep her ‘WAG crown’
The new theory comes following claims Coleen fired her legal team after they told her this week that her case against Rebekah ‘isn’t very strong’ and may have ‘mistakes’.
Last month, the pair held a video meeting in a last-ditch attempt to avoid a very public and expensive court hearing, yet it ended in a bitter deadlock.
Coleen has now reportedly been told her case against Rebekah ‘isn’t very strong’, leaving things a ‘total mess’.
The mother-of-four is said to be planning on ‘forking out’ on a ‘very expensive’ London legal team who are ‘media and privacy work specialists’.
According to The Sun, a source claimed: ‘Coleen thought it was a total certainty she was in the right. But now she’s been told she may have made some mistakes along the way and is keen to shift the blame to anyone else. It’s a total mess.
She said: ‘I truly suspect that the Rooney’s and their PR team had a plan prior to Wayne’s return to the U.K. as his reputation was in tatters’ (pictured in 2017)
‘Along the way, something has been hidden from everyone else involved and it could end up costing them the whole case.
‘Coleen still won’t back down — and now she’s decided who to hold responsible, she is planning to fork out big time and hire a very expensive London legal team who are specialists in media and privacy work. She’ll do anything in her power to salvage things.’
It’s claimed that Coleen has not admitted to ‘a crucial detail of her efforts to catch Becky red-handed’.
MailOnline contacted both Coleen and Rebekah’s representatives for comment.
Bitter: It’s claimed that Coleen has not admitted to ‘a crucial detail of her efforts to catch Becky red-handed’ (pictured together in 2016)
Last month, the pair failed to reach a resolution, meaning their dispute could go to the High Court.
A source said: ‘The girls are still no further forward, so it’s now going to have to be heard in court.
‘It’s a shame it has come to this but there is no other way. Coleen has plenty of evidence and she isn’t frightened to show it.’
The women held an online Alternative Dispute Resolution mediation meeting in May alongside their lawyers in a bid to avoid an expensive court case after racking up legal costs in the ‘five figures’.
It was claimed the wife of Leicester City and England striker Jamie Vardy, threatened to sue Coleen for libel.
Coleen, whose husband Wayne is player-coach at Derby County, is thought to be counter-suing for breach of privacy.
The statement: In October, Coleen publicly accused Rebekah in an explosive statement of selling fake stories about her, sparking an angry denial from the then-pregnant WAG
‘I don’t need the money’: Rebekah denied all accusations against her minutes after the post and said she had nothing to gain and had no financial motivation
The pair’s row began last year, when Coleen revealed details of her investigation into the source of a series of stories about her family, and claimed Becky was responsible for sharing the stories, something she denied.
The FAKE stories Coleen shared which were sold to The Sun and followed by media outlets
Wayne and Coleen Rooney’s £20m ‘Morrisons’ manor is ‘flooded
On Tuesday, it was claimed that the Rooney’s basement had flooded due to Storm Lorenzo.
It was said to have caused a ‘massively stressful’ setback in the completion of the sprawling three-storey mansion
Coleen Rooney ‘is so desperate for a baby girl that she’s looked into controversial £8K gender selection treatment’
The Sun first reported that mother of four sons, Coleen had looked into ‘gender selection’ treatment in a desperate bid for a daughter and had flown to Mexico earlier this year to discuss the controversial £8,000 treatment with doctors
Coleen Rooney ‘hopes to revive her TV career including a Strictly stint now she’s moved back to the UK’ after husband Wayne’s scandal
The Sun wrote that she was in talks to revive her once successful UK TV career now her family has moved back to this side of the Atlantic.
The mother-of-four apparently had to decline the offer to appear on this year’s Strictly Come Dancing but could compete in 2020
It sparked an extraordinary war of words between the pair and Coleen’s close pals are now insisting she won’t back down, saying: ‘She has the evidence – it’s all there. It’s a case of ‘bring it on’.
‘Her evidence is absolutely bullet-proof and she stands by it all. Obviously it isn’t ideal but Coleen will follow it through. She’s the one in the right here.’
Last month, it was reported that Becky and Coleen were set to face off in their first virtual meeting since the feud was ignited seven months ago, and the TV star reportedly said she would settle for nothing less than a public apology.
A source told The Sun: ‘Becky is adamant she’s done nothing wrong and while she wants an end to this ongoing legal battle, she also wants to be vindicated. Becky has told her team she wants a public apology.
‘She was really hurt that Coleen went straight on social media to lay blame at her door, rather than speaking to her privately.
‘She has maintained her innocence throughout and doesn’t want this to be brushed under the carpet without Coleen publicly apologising to her for the fallout which followed, including a huge amount of abuse on social media.’
Rebekah and Wayne Rooney’s wife were previously good pals until Coleen made the shock allegation in an explosive social media statement last year.
MailOnline contacted representatives for both Rebekah and Coleen for comment at the time.
In October, Coleen admitted that stories about her basement flooding, returning to TV and gender selection were only viewed by Rebekah and these were subsequently followed by media outlets, including MailOnline.
Rebekah, who denies all allegations and was pregnant at the time, cut her family holiday to Dubai short after the dramatic accusation, which captured Britain in the so-called ‘war of the WAGs’ and earned Coleen the nickname of ‘Wagatha Christie’.
At the time, sources close to Rebekah said leading law firm, Kingsley Napley, had sent Coleen a letter on her behalf demanding she provides them with the evidence she has against Becky so that she can complete her investigation.
Becky is said to have called in a forensic team to analyse her Instagram account following the explosive claims. The aim is to identify the mole who sold fake stories to The Sun from Coleen’s Instagram account.
Coleen wrote on October 9: ‘For a few years now someone who I trusted to follow me on my personal Instagram account has been consistently informing The Sun newspaper of my private posts and stories.
‘There has been so much information given to them about me, my friends and my family – all without my permission or knowledge.
‘After a long time of trying to figure out who it could be, for various reasons, I had a suspicion. To try and prove this, I came up with an idea, I blocked everyone from viewing Instagram except ONE account.’
She continued: ‘(Those on my private account must have been wondering why I haven’t had stories on there for a while).
Cryptic: The mother-of-four tweeted these words back in January 2019, highlighting how she has been trying to get to the bottom of who was leaking stories on her life for some time
Explosive: The drama captured Britain in the so-called ‘war of the WAGs’ and earned Coleen the nickname of ‘Wagatha Christie’ by fans (Coleen pictured in 2016)
‘Over the past five months I have posted a series of false stories to see if they made their way into the Sun newspaper.
‘And you know what, they did! The story about gender selection in Mexico, the story about returning to TV and then the latest story about the basement flood in my new house.
‘It’s been tough keeping it to myself and not making any comment at all, especially when the stories have been leaked, however I had to. Now I know for certain which account/individual it’s come from.
Did ‘Dave’ inspire Coleen’s investigation?
Coleen Rooney may have got the idea for her Vardy sting from a Manchester poker player who tweeted the idea to her back in January.
His idea came after Coleen first expressed a concern that someone close to her was leaking stories.
He tweeted: ‘Make a false story tell people different things see which one comes out = find the culprit’
He told Daily Star last year: ‘Firstly I hope Coleen is okay.
‘To have a friend betray her like that is something you don’t expect.’
‘I have saved and screenshotted all the original stories which clearly show just one person has viewed them. It’s……… Rebekah Vardy’s account.’
She also wrote: ‘This has been a burden in my life for a few years now and finally I have got to the bottom of it……’
Rebekah hit back minutes later on social media and denied the accusations, she wrote: ‘Can’t believe I’m even having to write this. I’m pregnant & on holiday & am at a loss to why she would do this.
‘I’m now having to take legal advice as I can’t deal with this stress myself when I’m this pregnant. As I have just said to you on the phone, I wish you had called me if you thought this.
‘I never speak to anyone about you as various journalists who have asked me to over the years can vouch for. If you thought this was happening you can could have told me & I could have changed my passwords to see if it stopped.’
She continued: ‘Over the years various people have had access to my Insta & just this week I found I was following people I didn’t know and have never followed myself.
‘I’m not being funny but I don’t need the money, what would I gain from selling stories on you? I liked you a lot Coleen & I’m so upset that you have chosen to do this especially when I’m heavily pregnant.
Overwhelmed with emotion: In February, Rebekah emotionally revealed on Loose Women that she was hospitalised ‘three times’ over the impact of her feud with Coleen (pictured with panellist Nadia Sawalha)
‘I’m disgusted that I’m even having to deny this. You should have called me the first time this happened.’
In February, Rebekah emotionally revealed on Loose Women that she was hospitalised ‘three times’ over the impact of her feud with Coleen.
Speaking in her first TV interview since the scandal, the WAG, who was joined by her baby daughter Olivia Grace, compared the row to ‘being abused by my step dad.’
Reflecting on the drama, the mother-of-five – who is married to Leicester City footballer Jamie, 33 – spoke about the backlash and subsequent trolling, and its effect on her physical and mental health.
Rebekah shared: ‘It just kind of escalated and it was not great. The trolling was the worst part for me. I have been trolled before and I do get it all the time but it kind of escalated. This was a whole new level…
‘I had people messaging me saying nasty stuff, one in particular, “You fat ugly rat. I genuinely hope you and your baby rot.” I think people just don’t realise when they’re saying stuff how it affects you.
Troubled: ‘I had severe anxiety, I felt like I couldn’t go out without people just looking at me and questioning, “Did she do it?”, she admitted (pictured with husband Jamie, 33, in December)
‘It was the worst thing I’ve been through since being abused by my step dad’, she boldly added.
Becky previously confessed the harrowing sexual abuse she endured from the age of 13 until she left home at 16 drove a wedge between her and her family. She also attempted to overdose aged 14.
Revealing she was sent to hospital three times while carrying baby Olivia, the model added: ‘I was struck with serious anxiety attacks and ended up in hospital three times. I ended up with kidney stones.
‘I had severe anxiety, I felt like I couldn’t go out without people just looking at me and questioning, “Did she do it? Did she not do it?” No one would ever say anything to your face and that’s the whole thing with trolling. They won’t say it to your face.’
The trolling also had a negative influence on sportsman Jamie, and her eldest child, Megan, 15, she explained: ‘Jamie really struggled seeing me upset and down. It was a hard time.
‘Megan found it really difficult. There are people finding out what her Instagram account was and sending her horrible messages.’