“After that happened, I learned to restrain myself, because I realised how powerful I was.”
Former Chelsea striker Carlton Cole has recalled how he knocked Jesper Gronkjaer out cold by punching the Dane during a Blues training session.
Cole played 31 times for Chelsea after graduating from the club’s academy, scoring eight goals.
The former England international spent time on loan at Wolves, Charlton and Aston Villa before being sold to West Ham in 2006.
Gronkjaer made a more significant impact during his time at Chelsea, making 119 appearances between 2000 and 2004.
Cole recalls punching Gronkjaer
And during an appearance on talkSPORT, Cole detailed how he ‘walloped’ Gronkjaer after being wound up by the winger.
“It was a heated training session,” recalled Cole, who retired in 2017 after a stint in Indonesia.
“We had a big game coming up on the weekend, and he just kept kneeing me in my back.
“It was annoying. I shouted, ‘what are you doing?’, but I was young so I was just taking it.
“The third or fourth time, I just turned around and I walloped him. It’s not something I’m proud of, just something that was heat of the moment.”
The seven-time England international added: “When you’re on the football pitch and you want to win the game and you’ve got this annoying character behind you, kneeing you in the back, you’ve got to do something about it – and I did!
“After that happened, I learned to restrain myself, because I realised how powerful I was.
“There was no reaction! He was out cold for a long time. I thought, ‘What have I done?’ I thought I’d killed him!”
Cole also said he would like to see his former club West Ham sign Jesse Lingard on loan from Manchester United.
Lingard has been linked with a switch to the Hammers this month after falling down the pecking order at Old Trafford.
“He would prefer to go to West Ham,” said Cole.
“Getting these sorts of players on loan, Lingard is a quality player. He has not had the game time, but he can push West Ham to the next level.”