England rugby team’s kit man Dave Tennison has been sacked by the Rugby Football Union for gross misconduct after giving share tips and advising players to invest in LGO Energy.
After England’s World Cup debacle, the highly respected Tennison’s sacking comes as another aftershock.
Tennison, 55, has lost his job after 13 years following friction among the players after shares in oil-drilling firm LGO Energy slumped in value.
Former Royal Marine training instructor Tennison, known as Reg after The Bill character Reg Hollis, has vowed to appeal and fight his case.
He has been suspended and his laptop confiscated during an RFU investigation after newspapers revealed that many players from the World Cup squad including Sam Burgess, Danny Care and David Wilson had invested as much as £100,000 after Tennison had recommended the stock in a flurry of emails.
The shares were worth £3.27 in June but fell to £1.30 at the start of the Rugby World Cup and have since plummeted to 45p.
Tennison who was a member of the 2003 World Cup winning support team faced three gruelling hours of questioning and felt that the meeting went well and there was no evidence against him.
However, the decision to sack him came three days later after he was found to have misused the RFU email system, for bringing disrepute to the federation through negative press coverage and for offering financial inducements to players.
Tennison told friends via email: “That was a total lie. There was no evidence of inducements because it didn’t happen.”
“I feel I have done nothing wrong and I will not be walking away from this without a fight.”
Tennison’s appeal is to be heard in a week’s time.
According to reports, Northampton flanker Tom Wood is believed to have viewed the share talk among the players as an unnecessary distraction close to the tournament and sent an email to Tennison telling him so. The RFU however, declined to comment.