“Why is he doing this to me? What right has he to tell the world about the intimate details of my private life – it’s nobody’s business but mine, surely?” A thirty two year old Salford scaffolder is claiming that he is being subjected to a campaign of harassment by a Premiership footballer. “It’s bloody outrageous – he’s been going all over the place telling everyone that I had an affair with that bird from the chip shop two years ago, while my wife was pregnant,” complains Reggie Rumpster. “It’s ruining my life – complete strangers are spitting on me in the street and calling me a bastard! I haven’t been able to get any work for weeks and my wife’s making me sleep in the shed.” Rumpster – a fervent Manchester City fan – believes that Welsh international and Manchester United midfielder Ryan Giggs is masterminding his public humiliation. “Look I know it’s him behind it – I caught him going through my bins one night last week! I was woken up by the sound of a bin being knocked over and when I shone my torch out of the window, Ryan Giggs was clearly caught in the beam! There was no mistaking him – he was even wearing his Manchester United Number Eleven shirt! The bastard just grinned at me and legged it!” A few days later, Rumpler found himself the subject of a tax investigation. “Someone had tipped them off that I wasn’t declaring all my earnings. I couldn’t figure out who’d do something like that,” he says. “Then I remembered: I’d shredded some invoices I hadn’t told the taxman about and put them in the bin the day before Giggs had gone through it. The evil git must have painstakingly reconstructed them from the shreds and sent them to the Revenue!”

Rumpster’s bizarre claims have been widely dismissed and the police have refused to investigate them. “What possible motivation would a hugely successful multi-millionaire sportsman have for exposing the sordid secrets of a small time tax and love cheat – apart from Mr Rumpler’s footballing affiliations, of course?”commented a spokesperson for Greater Manchester Police. “If he’s so worried about the effect the publicising of his misdemeanours is having on his work and family, perhaps he should get an injunction, or something?” However, Rumpster believes that the midfielder’s attempts to smear him are motivated by a desire for revenge, admitting that he was one of the thousands of Twitter users who had defied a super injunction obtained by the footballer, by identifying Giggs as the Premiership player who had been having an affair with a former Big Brother contestant.

“OK, I accept that he might have been a bit pissed off about that, but his response has been completely out of proportion,” laments the scaffolder. “Besides, why did he single me out? I wasn’t the only one doing it! It’s because I’m a City supporter, isn’t it?” Despite Rumpler’s claims that he has been singled out, there is evidence that other tweeters have also been targeted by Giggs – who, in the aftermath of the mass Twitter-based breach of his gagging order, instructed his lawyers to try and force the social networking site to reveal the identities of the rogue tweeters. Wayne Diplow, a twenty six year old labourer from Leeds, also found his extra-marital activities publically exposed shortly after naming Giggs on Twitter. “Someone started Tweeting all six of my followers and posting stuff on the walls of my Facebook mates – I managed to get a lot of it taken down before too many people had seen it,” he says. “But then all these posters started appearing across Leeds with pictures of me and this slapper from the local kebab van that I’d been porking on them, with the words ‘adulterer’ and ‘whore’ scrawled across them. They were literally everywhere: stuck on lampposts and telegraph poles, pasted onto the sides of vans, notice boards, even people’s front doors!”

Worse was to come, with hugely enlarged photos of Diplow and his mistress engaged in sexual congress appeared on advertising hoardings across the entire Leeds metropolitan area. “Where did the bastard get those from?” asks an exasperated Diplow. “I only took them for a laugh – it took me ages to hide that camera so the daft bint wouldn’t see it! I thought I’d destroyed them all!” At first Diplow, who is currently sleeping on a park bench after his wife threw him out of their house, suspected another former girlfriend – a receptionist at a local dentist’s surgery – of being behind the hate campaign. “She was pretty annoyed when she found out that I was already married and knobbing the kebab van girl,” he muses. “But then I heard about the bloke in Salford, and it all made sense – who else would have the resources to do all this stuff but a hugely wealthy celebrity?”

Diplow denies that he is being hypocritical in complaining about his own exposure as a love cheat, having participated in doing the same thing to Giggs. “Listen, I was just doing my bit for the fight against censorship. I’ve always been a big supporter of the principle of freedom of information – especially if that information involves famous people having nasty sex with each other,” he says. “Besides, the two cases are completely different: I don’t see how there is any public interest in splashing my sordid sex life all over West Yorkshire, whereas there is a clear public interest in knowing which overpaid celebrities are shagging each other. Surely it’s our right to know that these over privileged bastards are just as deceptive, two-faced and unfaithful as the rest of us when it comes to personal relationships?”

Professor Jerry Mire of the West London Institute of Basket Weaving believes that, rather than being a way of humanising celebrities, the public’s apparent obsession with knowing the details of their private affairs is actually aspirational. “Knowing that the rich and famous sexually misbehave legitimises ordinary people’s affairs,” he told The Sleaze. “I mean, knowing that some film star has been illicitly shagging a super model behind his wife’s back makes that knee-trembler you had with that girl from the fish counter in Asda last night seem glamourous and exciting.” Reggie Rumpster concedes that Professor Mire might have a point. “It’s true that, at the back of my mind, I thought that if everyone knew that someone as successful and admired as Ryan Giggs had been rogering some bird behind his wife’s back, then it would make it easier for my other half to accept my affairs, if they were ever exposed,” he says. “That and the fact that I was pissed off that he could afford to hush the whole thing up with a super injunction, when I had to accept a kicking from the bird from the chippie’s fiancé to try and keep my infidelity quiet.”