Football, family and Frodsham - Djibril and Jude CissÃ©
PUBLISHED: 00:16 28 February 2011 | UPDATED: 18:58 20 February 2013
We speak to the Lord and Lady of Frodsham footballer Djibril CissÃ© and his wife, Jude, who can't get enough of the Cheshire market town. Emma Mayoh reports PHOTOGRAPHY BY JOHN COCKS
Djibril Ciss is used to moving around a lot, it comes with the job description. The flamboyant footballer, renowned for his wacky fashion sense and even wackier hair, left home to begin his career at just 11-years-old. The former Liverpool striker, who now plays for Greek team Panathinaikos, spends much of his time in Athens. But he yearns for his manor house in Frodsham, where he lives with wife Jude and their family.
Its a special house for me and my family, said the 29-year-old. It has a lot of character and its also really peaceful. Im used to doing a lot of travelling but I do miss it a lot.
I love being at the house the most. Its a place where I can relax and spend proper time with my family. Its like a retreat. Its important for us to have a permanent base and it means a lot to us. I would really struggle to sell this house because its a happy place for us.
When Djibril and Jude bought Ridge Manor House in 2005, as well as the panoramic views of the Mersey Estuary at the back of their home, they inherited the titles Lord and Lady of the Manor of Frodsham.
The ancient title, first granted centuries ago, gives Djibril the right to allow hunting on his land. However, in 2005 he controversially rejected a request for the Cheshire Forest Hunt to cross part of the nine-acre estate following a campaign by anti-hunt protesters.
And while he is probably the first Lord of Frodsham to dye his hair a rainbow of red, white or bright yellow, the title is something the couple both enjoy having.
Jude said: It is lovely and the perfect finishing touch for us. It is not something weve ever used but its a real honour to become Lord and Lady of your own village. I think its important we try to help the local community where we can.
Jude divides her time between Frodsham and Greece. Until recently she lived at the manor with her 16-year-old Liam, a son from a previous relationship, as well as the sons she has with Djibril, Cassius, four, Prince Kobe, two and ten month old Marley Jackson.
But the couple recently decided to put the youngest three into school in Greece so they can spend more time with their dad. She has had support from mum, Christine, who recently moved from London to be closer to her daughter.
Djibril was finding it very difficult not having his family around him, said Jude, who didnt move full-time to Greece because of Liams schooling. It must get quite lonely if you cant share things with your family. This is the place he considers his home and he misses it a lot.
My mums move came at the right time. We are really close and when I am in Greece she also spends time here with Liam, its lovely.
Jude may have the trademark designer clothes and sleekly-styled hair but shes adamant she is no WAG. In fact, shed rather not be associated with footballers wives and does not consider them celebrities. But she does admit it can sometimes be difficult being married to a sportsman.
Theres no stability about being the wife of a footballer, she said. You dont know where you are going to be from year-to-year. Its not easy but its about not letting it get the better of you and staying focussed.
All this rubbish about footballers wives is all made up. Its all down to the media really but some of the girls become obsessed with it and end up becoming this image. Its important to stand on your own two feet. What will these women do when their partners retire?
Jude, who grew up in Rhostrahwfa on Anglesey, has worked hard to establish a successful career for herself. She has run her own childrens centres and now owns a luxury day spa, Rouge et Noir, in Helsby.
Her determination has helped her through tough times - she contracted swine flu while pregnant with Cassius and has suffered more than one miscarriage.
The last one was difficult because wed actually planned to have a baby and we were so delighted when I got pregnant, Jude said. I ended up in hospital because I had passed out in the evening and they gave me a blood transfusion.
The first thing I said was, when can we try again? Six weeks later I was pregnant. We didnt want to waste any time.
Although she said Djibril sometimes doesnt like her working so hard, she knows it will be worth it once he retires. They have both built lives for themselves in Frodsham so there is little wonder they have no plans to leave.
Jude said: We love it here and we do take our roles in the community very seriously. Im really looking forward to a time when we will both be able to spend more time together here.
We have planned our future together nicely. I want to retire with Djibril so we can spend time together as a proper family. We will end up here and he will have his hands full. He will have three boys to train and to take to football practice. Its going to be fantastic.
A night to remember
Jude invited some of her celebrity friends and a host of local ladies to Rouge et Noir for a pamper evening in aid of Marie Curie Cancer Care. Strictly Come Dancing star and X Factor winner Shayne Ward hosted the event at the Helsby spa which included complimentary treatments, champagne and cupcakes and a special Las Vegas-style casino booth. Other famous faces included former Hollyoaks actors Nathalie Emmanuel and Devon Anderson as well as Emile Heskey's fiance Chantelle Tagoe and Claire Merry, ex-wife of Thierry Henry.
Bespoke jewellery designer, Jems Jems, also attended showcasing their gemstone and crystal products.