Footballers’ Wildest Christmas Parties!
Christmas parties can be wild affairs in even the smallest of companies. Throw in over twenty lads earning tens of thousands of pounds a week and simmering internal feuds, and you’ve got a recipe for disaster.
As football clubs prepare for their usual Christmas nights out, we look at some reasons from Christmas past for them to behave themselves.
West Ham, 2012
Hammers striker Andy Carroll may have a festive surname but his antics on their 2012 Christmas party in Dublin were far from jovial.
The Liverpool flop was questioned by Gardai after an altercation with a photographer outside a Burger King restaurant. Allegedly, Carroll hit the paparazzo after one too many shots. And one too many photos, probably. Knowing Carroll’s form at the time, it’s a wonder he didn’t miss.
Manchester United, 2007
Sir Alex Ferguson’s hairdryer must have been in full affect after his side’s festive outing in 2007.
A “No Wags” policy was implemented and, instead, 100 women were handpicked to attend the shenanigans. Danny Simpson was allegedly involved in a dancefloor brawl and the night ended with Jonny Evans facing allegations of rape. The charges were dropped a few months later, as were plans for similar debauchery the following Christmas.
Newcastle United, 1998
We’ve all got inappropriate gifts for co-workers’ Kris Kindles, but surely none as tasteless as Newcastle United’s squad in 1998.
Dietmar Hamann, being German, received a copy of Mein Kampf while Italian Alessandro Pistone was given a sheep’s heart – to highlight his lack of commitment. Duncan Ferguson, who’d spent some time in jail a few years earlier, was given a prison shirt. Nice bunch of lads.
Manchester City, 2004
According to Joey Barton, Robbie Fowler started it. The City players had been “out on the lash since midday” and thought it’d be fun to start burning holes in each other’s jackets.
Barton and youth player Jamie Tandy had an altercation before the squad retired to their hotel. Barton alleges that his shirt was set on fire, with a grinning Tandy being the chief suspect. As retribution, the controversial midfielder grabbed Danny Mill’s cigar and stubbed it in Tandy’s eye.
Barton was fined six week’s wages and was later sued by Tandy.
If you thought Liverpool’s FA Cup Final cream suits were the worst thing they’ve worn, think again. At a Christmas party in the 1990s Steve McMahon refused to allow a player in a Ku Klux Klan outfit admission.
“You can’t come in like that. John Barnes is in there”, argued McMahon. “No, he’s not,” came the reply, “he’s in here!”, as Barnes whipped off his hood.
Their 1998 shindig was labeled the “most debauched Christmas party in the world ever” by the Independent.
The highlight, or lowlight, being a young Jamie Carragher stripping his Hunchback of Notre Dame costume and cavorting with a gaggle of strippers wielding whipped cream, while Michael Owen stood in the corner and Paul Ince watched from the DJ box looking “concerned”.
West Ham, again
The Hammers’ festive bashes seem to cause more controversy than most. In 1998, Trevor Sinclair and Neil Ruddock were arrested after a woman claimed they “ripped bits off her car” while in fancy dress.
Three years later, young defender Hayden Foxe was dreaming of a Wet Christmas, and contrived to get the whole West Ham squad ejected from the Sugar Reef club for mistaking the bar for a urinal. He was fined two week’s wages and given a free transfer months later.