The football star Meghan Markle’s friends warned her to “stay away from” while single

Meghan reportedly almost went on a date with the former England footballer back in 2013

Meghan Markle
(Image credit: Samir Hussein/WireImage/Future)

Back in 2013, a newly single Meghan Markle reportedly received a handful of Twitter messages from former England football star, Ashley Cole, asking her out on dates while she visited London.

Before Meghan Markle met Prince Harry and began her tumultuous life as a royal, the Duchess turned down the opportunity to become a WAG - a term used to refer to 'wives and girlfriends' of high-profile sportsmen.

According to The Mirror, several sources have claimed that Meghan almost went on a date with a very famous England footballer in 2013, before being warned about his past. Meghan was 32 at the time and had just divorced from her film producer husband Trevor Engelson.

One of the sources, journalist Katie Hind, has claimed that Meghan showed her Twitter messages she had been sent from Ashley Cole. The former England star, who played in the 2002, 2006 and 2020 World Cups but perhaps is more famous for being dumped by his ex-wife Cheryl Cole, allegedly asked to go on a date with the then Suits actress.

Ashley Cole

(Image credit: Steve Bardens/Getty Images)

Writing in the Mail, Hind detailed her 2013 meeting with Meghan, saying, "[Meghan pulled an] iPhone from her handbag, she pointed to the picture of a good-looking man on her Twitter account, and said: 'Do you know this guy, Ashley Cole? He follows me and he keeps trying to talk to me on Twitter. He's trying really hard'."

The journalist replied to Meghan's question, "'I bet,' I said calmly. She continued: 'He wants to go out on a date while I'm over here in London. What do you think? Do you know him?'"

Hind shared with Meghan the details of Cole's 'love rat' past, detailing how he was well known for cheating. In response, Meghan allegedly said, "Some of my friends told me to stay away from him, too. I think I'll leave it."

Meghan Markle

(Image credit: ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images)

The instigator of the failed and short-lived romance may have been former WAG Lizzie Cundy, who was married to former Chelsea striker Jason Cundy at the time. Speaking to Grazia in 2021, she claimed she tried to set Meghan up with Ashley Cole after they got on "like a house on fire" at a charity event. 

Lizzie said, "Meghan said she loved London, and would love an English boyfriend, so I went through my phone to see who I knew that might be a good fit. I tried to find her a boyfriend - Ashley Cole wasn’t so keen - but I did try to fix her up, which is funny looking back."

In response to the claims, Cole’s brother, Matty Cole, told The Sun, "It's nonsense, completely made up. He definitely wouldn’t have to beg Meghan Markle for a date. She's not the kind of girl he goes for anyway, and he’s never fancied her."

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Charlie Elizabeth Culverhouse
Royal News and Entertainment writer

Charlie Elizabeth Culverhouse is royal news and entertainment writer for She began her freelance journalism career after graduating from Nottingham Trent University with an MA in Magazine Journalism, receiving an NCTJ diploma, and earning a First Class BA (Hons) in Journalism at the British and Irish Modern Music Institute. She has also worked with BBC Good Food and The Independent.