EDEN CONFIDENTIAL: Will the taxman send rugby star Ugo Monye’s firm into touch?
His scorching pace and power made him a devastating force on the rugby pitch, while more recently his eloquence and charm have helped establish him in the TV studio as a team captain on the BBC’s A Question Of Sport as well as earning him a role as an expert summariser for ITV during the current World Cup.
But former England and British Lions star Ugo Monye could be forgiven for feeling badly bruised at the moment.
I can reveal that his company, the ebulliently named Show Me The Monye, has been lined up for a thumping tackle in the High Court – by the taxman.
The company, which Monye, 40, set up in 2012 for ‘physical well-being activities’, now owes nearly £200,000 in unpaid taxes and social security payments.
A company run by former England and British Lions star Ugo Monye (pictured) owes nearly £200,000 in unpaid taxes and social security payments
This has prompted His Majesty’s Revenue and Customs to initiate a High Court petition which, if granted, would see the company wound up.
Neither Monye, who ended his dazzling but injury-hampered playing career aged only 31, nor his manager nor his legal representatives, Brandsmiths, whose clients include Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant empire, care to comment.
But being buried at the bottom of a financial ruck is the last thing that Monye would want to contend with right now.
Aside from his World Cup commitments, he has also become a ‘champion’ in the Princess of Wales’s childhood campaign, Shaping Up.
In June he joined Catherine at Maidenhead Rugby Club for a skills session on the pitch, before they discussed the value of local sports clubs to children.
It’s a subject close to Monye’s heart – perhaps particularly so since he split from his wife, Lucy, two years ago, just before he took part in Strictly, when he was paired with Oti Mabuse.
Monye, who, in his playing days, used to let off steam at Infernos nightclub in Clapham, south London, in the company of teammates, was at pains to say that he and Lucy were not victims of the Strictly ‘curse’ and to stress that they would remain ‘very much connected’ for the sake of their two young daughters.
Let’s hope the High Court doesn’t oblige him to kick the girls’ pocket money into touch.