‘£90,000-a-week star didn’t pay £40 bill’

CASH BLOW ... car valeter Lee Donnelly and, inset, Demba Ba.
CASH BLOW ... car valeter Lee Donnelly and, inset, Demba Ba.

FORMER Newcastle striker Demba Ba’s transfer to Chelsea may have brought in millions for the Magpies, but the man who cleaned his car says he’s £40 out of pocket.

Car valeter Lee Donnelly is angry that Ba, with his focus on the big money move, has forgotten to pay a £40 car cleaning bill.

Demba Ba of Newcastle United

Demba Ba of Newcastle United

Mr Donnelly cleans the luxury cars owned by a number of of Toon players, and says he has been chasing Ba for weeks after washing the striker’s gold Mercedes.

The striker has moved to London for a reported £90,000 a week, and Mr Donnelly has taken to social networking site Twitter to demand the star pays up.

The 34-year-old, from Wallsend, said: “It’s the principle more than anything.

“I asked him a few times for the cash and he said ‘I owe you still’, and the last time I saw him he said he only had a £50 note.

“I didn’t have any change, so he just put the £50 back in his wallet and said it would have to be another time and drove off.

“I thought, for the money you’re on, why don’t you just give me the £50 for messing me about.”

He added: “I texted him before Christmas but I didn’t hear anything. Now he’s moved to Chelsea, I’ve gone online to say I want it back.”

Lee, who runs LJD Valet, began washing cars for footballers in 2009 after the club’s then manager, Chris Hughton, responded to a flyer posted through his door.

Word of mouth soon saw him getting jobs washing the flashy sports cars and Range Rovers of players including Andy Carroll, Joey Barton and Kevin Nolan and latest club members Danny Simpson, Jonas Guttierrez, Cheick Tiote and Yohan Cabaye – first at the club’s training ground and then at their homes.

Mr Donnelly added: “I had been doing Demba’s car for about a year.

“The last time I washed his red Audi and Mercedes, I asked him to leave the money with his wife or whoever was in, but she said I’d have to get it off him.”

Lee vented his frustration during a Twitter session run by Chelsea FC for fans to ask Demba questions.

Chelsea FC were unavailable for comment.