It's far from rosy for Les Ferdinand in the Football Crocus garden

Les Ferdinand, right, continues to deny involvement in the destruction of the Blue Peter garden in 1983. Tim Sherwood, also pictured, has never been implicated in the destruction of any garden to the best of Dodgy's knowledge
Kevin Farrell

IT was one of the most heinous crimes committed anywhere during the 1980s in Dodgy's book.

Apart from maybe Brighton striker Gordon Smith fluffing a one-one-one with Man U 'keeper Gary Bailey at the death in extra-time to win the FA Cup, it was perhaps even the biggest disaster witnessed on English soil, excuse the term, throughout 1983.

The shameless destruction of the Blue Peter garden was, quite frankly, needless, senseless, pointless, shocking, callous and utterly barbaric – as any elected councillor's bumper book of buzz words would no doubt agree.

It wasn't as if they could just whip out another Blue Peter garden they'd made earlier from under Peter Duncan and Janet Ellis's state-of-the-art pasting table.

Unlike your cardboard rocket ships, your origami bug mansions or your papier mâché Tracy Islands, that's not really how prize gardens work, kids.

For starters, you need loads of seeds, rain, cow dung, butterflies, cat poison, underused Rattan furniture and, preferably, far too much free time on your dirt-caked paws.

No. Ten long years of green-fingered sorcery from Percy Thrower was simply wiped out just like that by a bunch of west London hallions who wouldn't know what to do with a Blue Peter green badge if it landed in the gold trailing ivy of their ma's hanging basket.

It's hard to forget all those front page tabloid headlines way back in October 2000 – a fine month for the oul' Clematis cirrhosa incidentally.

That was also when ‘there appeared to be a major breakthrough in the ‘Blue Peter case of 1983', as Nick Ross might have teased us on Crimewatch before we all crawled under the quilt with three Valium, two brandys and a hurling stick for company.

‘What's all this got do with the price of tulips anyway?', asks you while watering your lovely perennials.

Well, Les Ferdinand (inset) – then-Spurs striker – clearly didn't put his tongue firmly enough into his cheek when, 17 years after the carnage and 12 years after Thrower went to the grave none the wiser, he told a BBC Choice programme that he and his wee mate Dennis Wise were in the hood when the dirty deed was done (the wrecked garden rather than Thrower's demise).

“We used to get into a bit of bother, round there,” Sir Les admitted.

“What I will say is I helped a few people over the wall (the only assist of his career) but I'm not at liberty to say whether Dennis Wise was one of them... it was just a bit of fun.”

The ‘bit of fun' included trampled vegetation, a broken antique urn and a goldfish pond polluted with motor oil.

A spokesman for Wise quickly said at the time: “Dennis was certainly not involved and had nothing whatsoever to do with it.”

Alas, 17 further years after the half-admission that never led to the courts or the klink for a single vandal, QPR director of football Ferdinand is now primed to lift the lid on the whole sorry episode in today's instalment of Ground Force with Charlie Dimmock, sorry, Football Crocus with his former QPR

team-mate Trevor Sinclair.

“I deffo didn't do it,” he more or less propagates with a slightly awkward laugh.

“The wall was too high for Dennis Wise anyway and the people at the BBC actually know me and Dennis had sweet (pea) FA to do with wrecking Percy's lifetime's work,” he also more or less adds while still laughing awkwardly.

Fair enough, Les. Dodgy believes you, Million Bells wouldn't.

In a completely unrelated case, does anyone know if poor oul' Shep (1971-1987) and the programme's other sadly departed border collies can be exhumed for further investigation?

There's bound to be a skip load of rusty badges, soaking wet newspapers and bog roll tubes in it for anyone with information that may lead to an arrest or two.


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