JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Former South Africa striker Benni McCarthy became a target for more than autograph hunters when he was robbed at gunpoint in a Johannesburg barbershop.
McCarthy, 37, back in his homeland as a pundit for a local television station's coverage of Europe's Champions League, which he won with Porto in 2004, had jewelry and other personal items stolen but was not harmed.
The ex-Blackburn Rovers forward, his country's record goalscorer who now lives in Edinburgh, was likely recognized and targeted by the three thieves as no other patrons of the shop were relieved of their belongings on Tuesday.
McCarthy’s long-time friend Percy Adams, who was with him at the time, told PowerFM: "The one man went straight to Benni and put his gun to his ear. He told him to give him his watch and earrings.
“Benni closed his one hand to hide his wedding ring because it is obviously of sentimental value. The man then said: 'Give me the ring Baba' and Benni then handed it to him.”
Police are investigating the incident which comes six months after South Africa goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa was gunned down in a botched robbery at his girlfriend’s house in Soweto.
(Reporting by Nick Said; Editing by Ken Ferris)