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For Premier League footballers, the annual Christmas party offers a chance to blow off steam before the hectic festive schedule.
And sometimes, they really seize that opportunity.
In the not too distant past, some of the world's most elite, finely tuned athletes have hit the headlines for wild, boozy and truly bizarre antics at their clubs' Christmas bashes.
Sadly, though, there won't be any of that this year as players been ordered to scrap plans for any such shindigs to avoid breaching coronavirus regulations.
To plug the hole for another 12 months, we've taken look at some of the most infamous, raucous Christmas parties involving Premier League stars.
Sex with strippers, marathon drinking sessions, bad taste fancy dress and assaults – it's all in here….
Manchester City, 2004
Joey Barton may have reinvented himself as a Nietzsche-quoting philosophy student.
But when he was a hot-headed young footballer, he found himself in hot water for stubbing a cigar out in the eye of a youth team player at Manchester City's Christmas bash.
Barton, then 22, was dressed as Jimmy Savile for the party (years before that would have been considered incredibly offensive).
As things got out of hand, Barton shoved a cigar in the eye of young player Jamie Tandy at a Manchester nightclub.
The one-time England international was fined six weeks' wages for the transgression.
Tandy blamed the incident for ruining his career, claiming he was cast aside by the club which led to a spiral into addiction.
He later ended up in court after admitting assaulting his girlfriend.
West Ham United, 1998
Neil Ruddock was one of the early Premier League era's most infamous bad boys.
His antics at the Hammers' Christmas party one year impacted on his ability to do the day job though, when police banned him from the area where West Ham's training ground is situated.
'Razor' Ruddock explains: "There was a lot of argy bargy, and I was the one who got arrested.
"I went to court and I got banned from Romford. But the problem was, West Ham trained in Romford!"
West Ham boss Harry Redknapp was forced to visit the area's chief of police to convince him to change the ban to after 7pm so Ruddock could train in the mornings.
Ruddock was charged with affray, and was later acquitted. His teammate Trevor Sinclair was convicted of criminal damage and was fined £250 along with £225 compensation.
Tottenham Hotspur, 2009
Talking about Redknapp, that was not the last time he was infuriated by his players getting up to no good at a Christmas party.
In 2009 Tottenham captain Robbie Keane told him the players were going to spend their day off travelling to Ireland for a round of golf.
As it happened the team held a lavish party in Dublin. Instead of hitting the fairways, the Premier League stars hit a pub before continuing the party at a nightclub.
Peter Crouch revealed in his book the party drove Redknapp "mad" while the 16 players involved were fined £20,000 per man.
Keane retained the captaincy but was shipped out on loan to Celtic less than two months later as his Spurs career was nearing its end.
Redknapp, perhaps fed up with his experiences, said: "Wednesday was their day off and Robbie told me they were going to Dublin to play golf. I had no problem with that.
"I am not happy and it will be dealt with, and dealt with severely.
"I was shocked when I heard about it. I don't see why parties should happen in today's football – they're more trouble than they're worth."
Manchester United, 2007
They may have been the most successful English club on the pitch in the 1990s and 2000s, but that didn't stop iron-fisted Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson banning Christmas parties when one particular event got out of hand.
Sir Alex took on the role of the Grinch after his players embarked on a marathon 13-hour, £4,000-a-player drinking session in Manchester that included karaoke and various strip clubs.
WAGs were unsurprisingly banned from the shindig and witnesses claimed the atmosphere got "out-of-control" and included "cattle-market groping", boozing and fighting.
The night can't have done much harm for team-bonding, though – the team won the Premier League and European Cup double at the end of the season.
Whoever placed the infamous Vinnie Jones in charge of planning Chelsea's Christmas party may have soon regretted it.
The notorious football hardman organised a lock-in at a west London pub.
Among the bleary-eyed activities featured dwarf-throwing.
It sounds reminiscent of the infamous dwarf-tossing scene in Martin Scorsese's The Wolf of Wall Street, suggesting decadent Wall Street bankers and Premier League footballers had similar interests in the mid-90s.
Tony Cascarino said: "The idea was to pick up a dwarf and hurl him as far as you could.
"I had a go, but I can't remember how I did. They were heavier than I expected."
West Ham, 2001
Australian defender Hayden Foxe may not have made much of an impact on the pitch at Upton Park, but the same cannot be said of anyone who attended the Hammers' Christmas bash in 2001.
The squad headed to the Sugar Reef nightclub in the West End but they were quickly told to find a new venue after Foxe started taking the piss – literally.
He unzipped his trousers and proceeded to urinate on the bar.
Foxe was fined two weeks' wages and left at the end of the season.
He said: "Some people are taking it light-heartedly and some are taking it the other way. I can't turn back the clock even though it's not something I'm proud of.
Secret Santa is a regular feature of British Christmas parties.
The Newcastle players took 'well-thought out gifts for your colleagues' to a new level when the presents were handed out in 1998.
German midfielder Dietmar Hamann was given a copy of Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf, bald Temuri Ketsbaia was given a comb, former jailbird Duncan Ferguson was handed a prison shirt and bizarrely Alessandro Pistone was the recipient of a sheep's heart, apparently a joke referring to his lack of commitment on the pitch.
Pistone said: "I'm sure it was a joke."
Liverpool's Christmas parties in the 'Spice Boys' era were legendary, usually involving fancy dress and large amounts of booze.
A young defender by the name of Jamie Carragher apparently took things a step too far in 1998.
The then-20-year-old arrived at the party dressed as the Hunchback of Notre Dame and allegedly proceeded to cavort with the strippers, with whipped cream involved.
Carragher is said to have got particularly close to one of the girls and it was reportedly down to teammate Paul Ince to grab the microphone in the phone and plead with the young star to "put her down".
German goalkeeper Lars Leese was given a less than warm welcome at his first Christmas party after signing for Barnsley.
He claims one of the players dressed as Hitler and performed the notorious Sieg Heil salute to greet him.
Leese's claim that such behaviour would land them in jail in his native Germany fell on deaf ears.
Later that same night two players had sex on stage with strippers – quite the introduction to an English football Christmas party for Leese.
- Adolf Hitler
- Jamie Carragher
- Sir Alex Ferguson
- Premier League
- Manchester United FC
- Manchester City FC
- West Ham FC
- Tottenham Hotspur FC
- Chelsea FC
- Vinnie Jones
- Newcastle United FC
- Liverpool FC
- Barnsley FC
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