Results 1 to 2 of 2
  1. #1
    Thailand Expat
    chassamui's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Last Online

    Football and drinking

    The good, the bad and the bubbly

    Someone who probably breathed a huge sigh of relief this week was Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson. Not because of the results, although they were fine, but because, more importantly, his players survived their Christmas party without a whiff of scandal.
    Rio Ferdinand is still in charge of organising the Manchester United Christmas party, despite a wild affair a few years ago. PHOTO: AFP

    The United boss hasn't forgotten a knees-up organised by Rio Ferdinand five years ago which got out of hand, featuring 100 women who were neither wives or girlfriends of the players. Lurid stories appeared in all the tabloids and it came as no surprise that the players received a most unfestive hair-dryer at training the following day.
    Rio was also responsible for this year's party at his Italian restaurant but things were much tamer. They still moved on to a nightclub but the only action of note was a spirited Gangnam Style performance by Japan's Shinji Kagawa.
    Most of us enjoy a few drinks at this time of the year and footballers are no exception - British footballers, anyway. It's not much fun playing over the Christmas and New Year period and any footballer who comes down with a convenient twinge or ache at this time of the year is often regarded with suspicion by his teammates.
    All managers are relieved if they can get through the festive season without some player losing the plot and ending up in the tabloids.
    After a Christmas bash at Leeds some years ago, Robbie Fowler was discovered by police fast asleep in a taxi, wearing a soldier's uniform and clutching a toy gun. Apparently he was on a secret mission.
    Another notable party from the past featured a young Jamie Carragher, dressed as the 'Hunchback of Notre Dame', ending up on stage covered in whipped cream along with ladies in a state of undress.
    On a less contentious occasion, in his Liverpool days Peter Crouch attended the club's fancy dress party disguised as the world's tallest parrot. This inevitably made the tabloids with a headline "You'll Never Squawk Alone".
    Someone who was an authority on footballers drinking habits was former Rangers' and Scotland midfielder Jim Baxter, whose nights on the town became legendary.
    "All the great players I have ever known liked a drink," he said at the end of his career.
    He certainly didn't have to look far in Scotland. In the 1960s and 70s, a regular chant from the terraces during Scotland's international matches went: "We drink beer, we drink wine, we're the Scottish forward line."
    This was probably a reference to the brilliant but erratic Celtic winger Jimmy Johnstone, who played for Scotland from 1965-75.
    Johnstone's drinking exploits became part of Scottish folklore. In one incident, after a heavy night out with the boys in Largs on the Ayrshire coast, he climbed into a rowing boat and began singing away merrily.
    One of his Scotland teammates, Sandy Jardine, later admitted to giving the boat a wee kick and it began drifting out to sea, with Johnstone blissfully unaware that the boat didn't have rowlocks to take the oars. He eventually fell asleep and was rescued the following morning some way out at sea by the coastguard. Asked what on earth he was doing, he explained: "I'm fishing."
    Only four days later, Scotland enjoyed a 2-0 win over England, and Johnstone, naturally, was the star player.
    Another gentleman with Scottish links who made something of a name for himself was the Glaswegian-Ugandan winger Vic Kasule. During his time at Shrewsbury, his drinking exploits with a couple of other Scottish players even prompted the local fanzine to call itself 'A Large Scotch'.
    Kasule eventually returned to Scotland where he played for Hamilton Academicals. At Hamilton, he became known as 'Vodka Vic' and this understandably upset him.
    "I can't stand vodka," he insisted. "If they called me 'Brandy Vic', that would have been a different matter."
    For some reason, you can't seem to escape the Caledonian influence concerning tales of booze. The team that drinks together wins together, was the view of Richard Gough, Rangers captain in the mid 1990s.
    Former Rangers goalkeeper Andy Goram has spoken of extended drinking sessions in those days.
    "We called it the equestrian because it was a three-day event," he once said.
    Someone who wasn't sure whether his problem was alcohol or smoking was another Scot, Duncan Ferguson. While at Everton he told one national newspaper: "I can drink like a chimney."
    Some managers adopted a laissez-faire attitude to drinking. "The players can get out of their brains every night so long as they are man of the match on Saturday," John Gregory said during his days as Aston Villa gaffer.
    Unfortunately the players who were brainless during the week often looked legless on Saturday.
    Drunken behaviour by players tends to be a British problem. It is rare for foreign footballers in Britain to be involved in boorish actions off the pitch. It seems the continentals spend all their evenings sitting at home with the wife.
    Dutch defender Mario Melchiot recalls his early days in England: "When I first went out for a night with English players, they couldn't believe I didn't drink."
    You still get complaints from managers that they have too many games during the festive season, but it used to be a lot worse.
    Up to 1959, they played on Christmas Day itself. The teams would face back-to-back matches on the 25th and 26th, which was a bit rough on a player who enjoyed a Christmas snifter or two.
    Heart of Gold and a Knob of butter.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Last Online
    14-01-2013 @ 07:03 AM
    wow!! drink is football

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts