Tony Adams, 56, quit Strictly because he’s ‘old with a dodgy knee’ claims wife


Tony Adams sensationally quit Strictly Come Dancing on Sunday evening, pulling out of the contest with an apparent hamstring injury.

His wife Poppy has now spoken out, claiming the 56-year-old Arsenal legend was ‘sad’ to pull out – but said he couldn’t keep up with training 10 hours a day and branded him ‘old with a dodgy knee’. 

Speaking exclusively to MailOnline from the couple’s home in Gloucestershire, Poppy, 41, denied that her husband’s decision to quit the show was as a result of a series of furious bust-ups with his partner Katya Jones and said they are ‘both punchy people’. 

‘His body can’t take anymore’: Tony Adams sensationally quit Strictly Come Dancing on Sunday evening, pulling out of the contest with an apparent hamstring injury

She said: ‘Taking part has taken its toll and it was time to drop out. He has gone much further on the show than he had hoped and it was time to leave.’

The BBC refused to explain what the injury was or how it occurred, citing it as a private, medical matter, though there was speculation he had hurt his hamstring, a common complaint for footballers. 

But there were no signs of him hurting himself during his jive to Land of 1000 Dances by Wilson Pickett with partner Katya, for which he won 24 out of 40 points – the lowest of the night. 

Speaking out: His wife Poppy has denied that her husband’s decision to quit the show was as a result of a series of furious bust-ups with his partner Katya Jones and said they are 'both punchy people'

Speaking out: His wife Poppy has denied that her husband’s decision to quit the show was as a result of a series of furious bust-ups with his partner Katya Jones and said they are ‘both punchy people’

It comes one week after Tony got in to a ‘heated row’ with his dance partner Katya during the closing moments of week seven’s show. 

Poppy said: ‘They are both punchy people and give as good as they get. He adored her and there was never a row as people have said. He has left because his body can’t take any more.

‘Tony took this so seriously and he has been training 10 hours a day, that’s more than he ever did in football training.

‘I know some people saw him as a bit of joke, but he did not want to be the joke and took is very seriously. He trained very hard, and it has just taken its toll.’

Tony recently addressed the apparent ‘heated row’ he had with his partner Katya during the closing moments of Strictly Come Dancing’s live show last week.

Couple: His wife Poppy has now spoken out, claiming the 56-year-old Arsenal legend was ‘sad’ to pull out - but said he couldn't keep up with training 10 hours a day and branded him 'old with a dodgy knee'

Couple: His wife Poppy has now spoken out, claiming the 56-year-old Arsenal legend was ‘sad’ to pull out – but said he couldn’t keep up with training 10 hours a day and branded him ‘old with a dodgy knee’

He had made a string of mistakes during his Salsa earlier in the night, and ended up at the bottom of the leaderboard, with Katya, admitting she’d shouted at him afterwards.

Tony was then seen speaking very animatedly with Katya when Claudia Winkleman and Tess Daly were wrapping up the show, prompting rumours of a ‘heated row’ between the pair.

Reflecting on the awkward moment while appearing on Wednesday’s Good Morning Britain with Katya, Tony confessed his professional partner can be ‘a little over critical’.

He admitted he just ‘wants to have a good time’ on the BBC dance contest and said they are trying to find a balance between correcting mistakes and enjoying themselves.

Outing: Katya was spotted for the first time since her dance partner Tony withdrew from the competition

Casual: She wrapped up in a long grey coat, blue joggers and trainers

Outing: Katya was spotted for the first time since her dance partner Tony withdrew from the competition 

However, he went on to praise ‘genius’ Katya for coming up with their choreography every week, before his partner brushed off ‘feud’ rumours by joking that they ‘don’t like each other’.

When asked by Susanna Reid and Ed Balls about the reported row, Tony quipped: ‘We constantly argue, don’t we?’

To which Katya joked: ‘We just don’t like each other at all, we don’t get on!’

But Tony candidly continued: ‘We’ve had two months together now. She’s been training me and the routines she’s putting on are incredible. 

‘And sometimes when I miss a step, sometimes she’s a little bit over critical and I just want to have a good time as well.

‘So I think it’s a balance between maybe letting me make a mistake and enjoying myself a little bit at times… I’m not an expert in this field.’

Gutted: Adams looked devastated after admitting an unexpected injury sustained during the live show left him unable to continue with the dance-off

All over: He held his head in his hand while bowing out on Sunday evening

Gutted: Adams looked devastated after admitting an unexpected injury sustained during the live show left him unable to continue with the dance-off

Fans of the Arsenal and England defender had been voting for Tony in huge numbers much to the concern of BBC chiefs who were nervous that he might actually win the competition.

‘I know lots of Arsenal fans were very supportive of him because he is not a natural dancer.

‘But he took the competition seriously and would train for 50 hours a week. That is what has taken its toll on his body, going through that every week. The training has just been so hard.’

Adams, who played for Arsenal for 19 years, has had a well-documented battle with alcoholism which saw him jailed for drink driving in 1991.

He established a clinic for other sportsmen and women with addiction problems and has remained close to the North London club where he is considered a ‘legend’ among supporters having played over 600 games for the club.

Poppy said her husband had taken part in the show to demonstrate people they can go out of their comfort zone.

‘Thirty years ago, Tony was in a position where he wanted to kill himself. He has wanted to show people that it is possible to go out of your comfort zone’

Awkward: Tony recently addressed the apparent 'heated row' he had with his partner Katya during the closing moments of Strictly Come Dancing's live show last week

Awkward: Tony recently addressed the apparent ‘heated row’ he had with his partner Katya during the closing moments of Strictly Come Dancing’s live show last week 

Tony and his professional partner Katya Jones will now miss the show’s iconic trip to Blackpool Tower, with Tyler West and Dianne Buswell automatically going through in their place. 

A BBC source said: ‘After finding out he would be facing the dance off, Tony had a chat with producers and stated that both he and the physio were concerned that dancing the jive again in the dance off could cause further injury and he had therefore decided he would instead withdraw from the competition.’ 

The BBC refused to explain what the injury was or how it occurred, citing it as a private, medical matter, though there was speculation he had hurt his hamstring, a common complaint for footballers.

A source at the studio said that Adams looked ‘upset’ after the Saturday night show ended.

‘Something was wrong, something was going on,’ they told the Daily Mail. ‘He was struggling to walk and was holding his leg.’

Criticism: Reflecting on the awkward moment while appearing with Katya on Wednesday's Good Morning Britain, Tony confessed his partner can be 'a little over critical'

Criticism: Reflecting on the awkward moment while appearing with Katya on Wednesday’s Good Morning Britain, Tony confessed his partner can be ‘a little over critical’

Tony was under increased pressure from Strictly fans to quit the competition after he stayed in last Sunday while Paralympic swimmer Ellie Simmonds – a favourite to reach the final – was sent home. She had scored 12 more points the than Adams for her dance.

Her exit prompted devoted followers of the BBC dance programme to write to the Corporation’s bosses and also share their anger on social media. They insisted he leave the show to give his more talented co-stars an opportunity to stay.

They were also furious with Arsenal fans for voting for Adams, 56, to stay when he was scoring such low marks.

A show source said: ‘Tony remaining in the show was becoming a real problem for the BBC, they always love to have a range of abilities but usually these exits happen naturally, at the times they should early on in the series.

‘But Tony’s huge fan base meant that this wasn’t the case and while he was being voted to stay by Arsenal fans, some of whom don’t even watch the show, others were being booted off. Tony was under pressure to go and now he has.’

When asked by Tess about his time on the show, he said: ‘It’s been emotional guys, I cried for the first month. I came in here with one message, if you’ve got an issue with mental health then please don’t suffer in silence and reach out for help.’

He continued: ‘Little did I know that I was going to learn a lot about myself in the process. I thought this ‘journey’ rubbish was nonsense, but my god the rollercoaster of emotion. I’ve got to be honest, it’s tough, physically it’s really tough out there, but dancing is really fantastic for you. 

‘Go out there and enjoy it and pick up new skills and explore. I suppose I had better mention this one [Katya] hadn’t I, she is an exceptional human being, she really is.’

Asked if she had any words for her partner, Katya said: ‘Tony Adams, I will be forever grateful that I was partnered up with you, do you know what I loved? 

‘I loved us, I loved that we didn’t care what people thought, we did every single dance our way! You have come here with a message, you led by example, and put yourself out there, and showed everyone you can do anything. And everyone deserves love and to be loved! I love you.’

Strictly Come Dancing continues Saturdays and Sundays on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.

STRICTLY COME DANCING 2022: WHO ARE THE CONTESTANTS?

KYM MARSH

Age: 46

Profession: Coronation Street star and presenter

Kym says: ‘I’m so delighted that this year they have! I’m a huge fan of the show and can’t believe I’m going to go from watching at home in my pyjamas to actually dancing in front of the judges in a glittery dress.’

ELLIE SIMMONDS 

Age: 27

Profession: Former athlete 

Ellie says: ‘To be asked to be part of the Strictly family is just so exciting and I cannot wait, it’s going to so much fun.’

TYLER WEST 

Age: 26

Profession: Radio DJ

Tyler says: ‘It’s a show that means so much to me and my family and I can’t wait to seriously shake a leg on that shiny dance floor… with a side of sequins.’

ELLIE TAYLOR

 

Age: 38

Profession: Comedian

Ellie says: ‘Well, cover me in fake tan and roll me in sequins! I’m absolutely over the moon to be a part of Strictly 2022!’

TONY ADAMS MBE 

Age: 55 

Profession: Retired footballer and manager

Tony says:  ‘To say I’m excited is an understatement – the lure of the sequins and the call of the salsa has me swapping my battered old football boots for a set of Strictly soft shoes’

WILL MELLOR

Age: 46

Profession: Actor

Will says: ‘I know it will be a huge challenge but that’s what life is all about. This is also my Mum’s favourite show and she’s had a really tough few years so I’m doing this is for her as well. Bring it on!’

 MOLLY RAINFORD

 Age: 21

Profession: Singer 

Molly says: ‘I already know it’s gonna be an experience of a lifetime and I can’t wait to meet the rest of the Strictly family I’ll be sharing it with.’

FLEUR EAST

Age: 34 

Profession: Singer

Fleur says: ‘I’m equally nervous and thrilled to be part of this year’s Strictly line up. I’m excited to learn new skills and I want to soak up every moment of this magical experience.’

 HAMZA YASSIN

Age: 35

Profession: Wildlife cameraman and presenter

Hamza says: ‘I am absolutely over the moon to be joining Strictly 2022. Never in a million years did I think I’d be on such a cool show.’

HELEN SKELTON

Age: 39

Profession: TV and radio broadcaster

Helen says: ‘I’m really excited to get stuck into a fun adventure. My family and friends have always loved the show and can’t wait for me to get started’

 

 

 

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