Frank Lampard's prospective transfer to New York City FC is being met with hostility from some stateside fans after the resurfacing of reports from 2001 which said he was one of four Chelsea players who "mocked" American tourists in the days after 9/11.
Lampard had just signed for Chelsea as a 23-year-old when he was involved in an incident at a Heathrow hotel.
He and three other players, including former England captain John Terry, were fined for their part in a drunken binge in a hotel where US tourists were staying due to flight cancellations in the wake of the World Trade Centre attacks.
Lampard, now 36, has since left Chelsea after a total of 429 appearances and is expected to be among the first players to join the newly-founded New York side.
Responding to rumours of the transfer, the widely-read New York Daily News tabloid wrote that Lampard had "drunkenly stripped, swore and vomited in front of the upset US tourists."
A rival tabloid, the New York Post, described the former England captain as a "9/11 lout".
The news was met with with an angry reaction from some NYCFC supporters.
"I will never respect him," one fan wrote on a forum. "If he issued an apology and made some sort of donation to a 9/11 charity, then I could forgive him but I will never support him; nor will I forget what he did."
"He better be down there sweeping the grounds at 1WTC EVERY DAMN DAY, after he publicly apologizes to every American for being a s###bag of the highest order," wrote another. "Maybe then, and only then, will I consider supporting him."
Another fan was more philosophical. "He might have made a drunken mistake when he was in his early twenties, yes, but I actually consider Lampard one of the brighter, more intelligent footballers," he said.
"I'd go as far as to say I like him."
Lampard is expected to be unveiled as a New York player on Thursday afternoon.