JAN MOIR: Struggling Harvey and an absent dad who knows no shame

JAN MOIR: Struggling Harvey and an absent dad who knows no shame

What I simply don’t understand is how Dwight Yorke can live with himself.

In public he is the successful footballer-turned-pundit and self-styled ‘philanthropist’; in private he is the father of disabled Harvey Price, the do-little dad who has had almost nothing to do with his 18-year-old son’s upbringing.

You might imagine Dwight would be shunned for this dereliction of duty, that people might look unfavourably upon his lack of support for a boy — his boy! — who grew up with a complex range of debilities and ill health. 

A boy who needed and continues to need every friend he can get.

But not a bit of it.

There seems to be no shame there, public or private. In his heyday, football crowds roared him on every week while today Yorke is a sports ambassador for his native Trinidad and Tobago, a sometime Sky analyst and a popular after dinner speaker.

In public Dwight Yorke is the successful footballer-turned-pundit and self-styled ‘philanthropist’; in private he is the father of disabled Harvey Price (pictured with his mother Katie), the do-little dad who has had almost nothing to do with his 18-year-old son’s upbringing

His Instagram account portrays his good self hopping merrily aboard a carousel of private jets and golfing holidays, while unfurling the occasional hypocritical homily. ‘Big games need big players to turn up,’ he posted recently.

Yet what bigger game is there than being a father and taking your responsibilities as a parent seriously? No matter how fleeting your relationship with their mother. 

Yorke has also been outspoken about racial stereotypes without apology or acknowledgement that he personally is helping to perpetuate the myth of the absentee black father.

No matter. Here he is having a glass of champagne with his best friend, cricketer Brian Lara. Cheers!

Pictured: Dwight Yorke with Katie Price in 2001

Meanwhile, in the new BBC documentary Harvey And Me, Katie Price revealed the next struggle in their son’s life. 

After turning 18 and becoming a legal adult, his care and educational needs have changed.

She has to find a new school offering residential care and able to cope with his behavioural problems and condition. 

He is partially blind, autistic and has Prader-Willi syndrome. One can only admire the energy, resilience and practicality with which she sets about this.

Over the years Price has had her critics — including me. I still shudder at the memory of her unpleasantness when we met and I don’t buy into the legend of the former Jordan being a perfect mother — I mean, who is for a start?

Her life has often been one of chaos, of confusing multiple partners and father figures shuffling in and out of her family orbit; not to mention more recent catastrophic financial problems which seem to be entirely of her own doing. 

Yet her bond with Harvey, her love for him and her determination to secure the best for him is admirable.

She has been there for her son for the past 18 years — which is more than you can say for his biological father. ‘It is never too late,’ she pleaded to Yorke this week, urging him to get in touch with the son he has not seen for 14 years. 

For his part, Yorke said in 2009 that; ‘I’d love to have an input in his upbringing, I’d love him to know the other side of his family, but it wasn’t allowed.’

Meanwhile, in the new BBC documentary Harvey And Me, Katie Price revealed the next struggle in their son’s life. After turning 18 and becoming a legal adult, his care and educational needs have changed

Whatever his difficulties with Price, could he possibly have tried harder to negotiate his way into Harvey’s life? Apparently not. However, it is no secret that the burden of care in these situations often falls on the mother.

In the documentary, broadcast this week, Price talked to mothers of children with similar problems to Harvey’s and viewers glimpsed the exhausting complications of their situation; the worry as they lurch from one crisis point to another, fighting for every penny of funding and education and care for their blighted sons and daughters.

Each of them deeply feared dying before their children, because who would look after them properly after they had gone? Yet more tormented kindling to lob upon their bonfire of anxiety.

Lockdown has made things so much worse for those with disabled and special-needs children or relatives. 

More from Jan Moir for the Daily Mail…

With so many services withdrawn, with carers unable to attend in the home and the safety valve of respite care gone, many parents and families find themselves trapped in bleak situations.

This week at the Old Bailey, a mother, Olga Freeman, pleaded guilty to manslaughter after killing her ten-year-old son Dylan following a breakdown. 

Dylan had autism and Cohen syndrome along with language and communication difficulties. 

At the time of his killing his father, celebrity photographer Dean Freeman, was living in Spain.

Meanwhile, in County Durham, Lynsey Fulcher, 42, has only left her house three times in ten months because she has three disabled children who are at risk. ‘I wish people would obey the rules,’ she said.

All over the country, people nursing unwell dependants or children with problems which are becoming increasingly difficult to manage, are living lives of quiet desperation behind closed doors.

That is something to remember next time we feel like having a moan because we can’t go to the pub or take a holiday. Perhaps it could be something for Dwight Yorke to think about, too.

This week he was zipping around Dubai on a motorised scooter.

‘Bit of fun before the game,’ he posted, underneath the footage. Indeed.

These dimbos are a bad influence

You’ve got to laugh at bobble-hatted ‘key workers’ turning up to board the Eurostar in London clutching skis as they pretend to have an important business appointment in St Moritz.

No wonder the Home Secretary is so furious. Unveiling a strict borders clampdown to slow the speed of Covid, she said that going on holiday is not an exemption and that people should ‘simply not be travelling’.

Hard at work: Made In Chelsea’s Kimberley Garner poses for our delight in Miami

However, is Priti Patel right to single out influencers for setting a bad example? All these dimbo airheads in Dubai, all the pouting dolts in the Caribbean or Miami, all those wannabes in thongs on a beach in the Maldives, with their micro-bladed eyebrows squinting in the sun and their parasol cocktails and clenched stomachs — does anyone really take them seriously any more? Some would struggle to influence their own shadow.

Look at them, forever photographing themselves laughing in coffee shops or walking through fields of wild flowers or posing against a painted wall as they ‘recommend’ their own ‘curated content’ — usually a bottle of plant-based dry shampoo and a pack of fruit teabags they got free from the manufacturers. 

One influencer hunkered down in Dubai caused outrage this week by claiming to be an essential worker.

Sheridan Mordew, 24, told ITV’s This Morning that she was on an ‘essential work trip’ to provide sunny content for fans and to ‘motivate them’.

To motivate them into feeling depressed about their lockdown lot, perhaps.

For what are influencers really saying, if not this: our lives are so much better than yours? In the final reckoning, when all this is over, we shall remember them.

And not with fondness.

Oh heck, now Brooklyn’s declaring love on his neck

Brooklyn Beckham, idiot of idiots, has had a poem, written by his heiress fiancée, tattooed on the back of his neck.

It is underneath a tattoo of her eyes, gazing out for all eternity at anyone else Brooklyn might sleep with or spoon with in the decades to come. From his nape, there is no escape.

Some scoff, some call it creepy, some say there is a whiff of desperation in these bodlily declarations of love for his girl, Nicola Peltz, whom he has known for just over two years.

Brooklyn Beckham, idiot of idiots, has had a poem, written by his heiress fiancée, tattooed on the back of his neck

However, I like to think his ink bears testament to the power of young love. 

To those overwhelming feelings that one has, aged 21, that THIS IS IT; forever and ever, amen. It is inspiring, it is charming.

No doubt it is also in honour of the poem written by his mother, Victoria, to his father, David, which the former England footballer has also had discreetly tattooed on the back of his neck. It reads:

David, I love you through rain and winter squalls

I love you when summer sunshine falls

I love your jokes and our daily lolz

Above all that, I love your Golden Balls.

Tres romantic!

Sturgeon’s politics of the playground

Is January over yet? It seems to have gone on for half a century.

Everything is either annoying or depressing or if it has to do with the SNP, it’s all of those things and more.

Should we be surprised that Nicola Sturgeon is promising to help the EU rather than the UK over the row about Covid vaccinations? No, for there is clearly no end to her wanton skulduggery.

Having an independent Scotland is no longer enough for Nicola; she wants to do actual harm to the hated Boris in particular and the English in general in the process. After all this time, her politics have barely evolved from the petty hatreds of the playground. The events of this week have been most revealing.

Meanwhile, I liked the photographs of celebrities being vaccinated over in America — with the likes of Sean Penn, Donna Karan, Steve Martin, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Harrison Ford all queuing up, just like ordinary Joes.

Heartening that fairness and decency still count for something. Although clearly not in Sturgeon-land.

Pictured: Joe Wicks takes part in the BBC Children In Need and Comic Relief ‘Big Night In in April last year

Joe Wicks is a national hero and a lovely bloke, but I would hate to be his neighbour. 

Can you imagine how much noise his gigantic hot tub and jet-propelled Jacuzzi must make? Nightmare. 

And that’s without Joe making any embarrassing noises himself once inside. 

Since we last met, my dear friend Pamela Anderson has gotten married — twice! You have to hand it to that girl. She got two new husbands in a period of time when I don’t think I got two new coats. Or two new anything, except possibly whiskers.

This time last year, Pammy married her old friend, the film producer Jon Peters. But in less time than it took to give him details of her sort code, the marriage was over. 

Now she has gone and married her bodyguard Dan Hayhurst, a builder from her small home town in Canada. 

After a love banquet of assorted rockers, movie moguls, football players and so forth, she has developed a taste for the boy next door. She’ll try anything once, it’s so refreshing.

The pair of crazy kids fell victim to lockdown love and got married on Christmas Eve.

‘I’m exactly where I need to be — in the arms of a man who truly loves me,’ said the bride. But then someone told her to hurry up and get to the church, where Dan was waiting.

The wedding photographs were stunning. I particularly like the one where she was lying in the gutter outside a shop, resplendent in her bridal gown and veil. 

It reminded me so much of weddings in my home town of Dundee, where brides often need a little nap on the pavement following the reception. Perhaps that is a Canadian tradition, too. And speaking of traditions, what about a honeymoon?

‘Every day is our honeymoon,’ says the blushing bride. Good luck, Dan!

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