Newcastle United Cockney Mafia and Mike Ashley pal Dennis Wise hits headlines as daughter enters Love Island

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Dennis Wise has defended Mike Ashley over the years after working with the former Newcastle United owner at St James’ Park.

Former Newcastle United Executive Director, and pal of controversial club owner Mike Ashley, Dennis Wise has hit the headlines once again as his daughter Amber enters the Love Island villa.

Wise has followed in the footsteps of Michael Owen in ex-Premier League stars whose offspring compete in the lustful hit ITV2 show. Amber has already been left in tears by the antics of boys on the show just days after entering the competition.

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An insider reportedly told The Sun that Amber has 'her head screwed on' and that her famous parents were 'fully supportive of her joining the show'.

Wise, now 56 years old, is no stranger to making off-the-pitch headlines throughout his career and Magpies supporters will remember the star thanks to his links with former Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley.

The midfielder hung up his playing boots in 2006 and would go on to manage Leeds United shortly afterwards. Wise left that role in January 2008 in a surprise exit which saw him take up a post as an Executive Director at St James' Park. His move to Tyneside came just weeks after Kevin Keegan returned for his second spell at the club.

Wise became part of a group known as the Cockney Mafia working at St James’ Park with Mike Ashley, a term coined by fans frustrated at the disillusionment felt towards a board full of strangely-chosen faces.

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Dennis Wise advised Mike Ashley on transfer police (Image: Getty Images)Dennis Wise advised Mike Ashley on transfer police (Image: Getty Images)
Dennis Wise advised Mike Ashley on transfer police (Image: Getty Images) | AFP via Getty Images

The Executive Director’s eight-month spell in the role was rocky with Kevin Keegan's eventual ugly departure leading to a court case for unfair dismissal, where transfer disagreements with Wise came to light. The Chelsea legend eventually left the role on April 1, 2009 and Alan Shearer came in as caretaker manager shortly afterwards.

In 2018, when Mike Ashley's tenure at Newcastle United was enduring its latest wave of resistance from Magpies fans, Wise spoke out in defence of the Sports Direct tycoon.

Ashley had just splurged £90 million on the House of Fraser department store chain on the eve of the Premier League season, after a barren transfer market for Newcastle United.

Wise said: "Unfortunately whatever he does, he will constantly take stick. It's as simple as that. There are a lot of people out there that don't help the situation. They want to bring it onto him.

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"People complain about them not spending enough money but if you trade well at a football club and you're able to bring players in and take players out and make money, I don't see what the problem is with that."

In 2019, it was reported that Wise was back working for Ashley as an 'influential advisor' at Newcastle United. However, acknowledging his reputation in the North East, Wise reassured fans this wasn't the case. He said: "You will be pleased to know Newcastle fans that this is not true, good luck to you guy's for the rest of the season."

The Times also reported that Wise had also been working to try and boost Ashley's reputation behind the scenes. It stated: "Wise is believed to have helped cement the relationship with Rio Ferdinand which led to Sports Direct gaining an exclusive contract to sell the former England defender’s Five clothing range, as well as encouraging other former players such as Tim Sherwood to defend Ashley’s running of Newcastle."

The former footballer is now President of Italian Serie B team Como 1902 and famously appeared on I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! in 2017.

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Wise's daughter Amber is 19 years old and is one of three children that Dennis Wise and his wife Claire have together. There's also 23-year-old Henry and 15-year-old George.

The family are believed to live in a luxurious £2 million Buckinghamshire house. Amber is also a keen sports player, just like Dennis, enjoying a successful university netball career and also practicing gymnastics.

The Love Island star loves an annual trip to Royal Ascot and jetting off on holiday to Dubai, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Greece and more.

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