Footballer's wife Carly Cole has spoken for the first time about the terrifying car jacking that saw the petite 26-year-old mum-of-one hauled from the driver’s seat of her black Audi A4 by eight masked thieves on motorbikes.
The incident, which happened in August in the street outside their £3 million former townhouse in London’s exclusive Chelsea, left the wife of England and Liverpool player Joe Cole and mother of baby daughter Ruby, too traumatised to drive.
“It was about 8.30 on a Sunday morning. Joe had the day off and we’d gone back to the old house to sort a few things out. Joe and Ruby were inside the house. It came out of nowhere,” Carly tells this week’s HELLO!
“It all happened so fast, it was very frightening and for a while, it blurred how I felt about London. For the first time ever, I didn’t feel safe. I’d actually been feeling really excited about spending the day at our old home, but afterwards, I had to get out of there immediately.”
Asked how her husband Joe, who, just weeks earlier, had transferred from Chelsea to Liverpool FC, reacted, she says: “Both Joe and I were in such shock at first, we didn’t feel angry – that maybe comes later.
"I just kept telling myself that I’d been lucky because Ruby wasn’t in the car. Her little car seat was there in the back and she could so easily have been with me. And although I’ve been back to that part of London since and I did feel safe again, it has made me more cautious all round and more aware of the fact that things like this can happen, unexpectedly, wherever you are.”
In her first interview since the family relocated to Liverpool, Carly opens the doors to her and Joe’s new, ultra modern £2.6million home in the exclusive footballers enclave of Formby, which features floor to ceiling windows and a swimming pool in the landscaped Balinese-inspired gardens.
A stone’s throw from many of Joe’s team mates, including Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard, Carly tells how she is readjusting to the move.
“I do miss having our friends and families nearby, but I know that we have do what’s best for Joe’s football.
“When we first moved up here, there were three big social events in a row, including Jamie Carragher’s testimonial and his wife Nicola’s 30th birthday. I thought, ‘This club are a sociable lot!’
“I didn’t really need that network of wives and girlfriends when Joe was at Chelsea, because I had my own existing circle of friends around me. But because I don’t have that here, it’s nice to have that support and to know that, when the guys are away, we can meet up.”
SEE THE FULL EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW IN HELLO! MAGAZINE, OUT NOW