Christmas Day is a holiday which sees most people relax and unwind with family around the dinner table as the turkey and ham are served, over indulging in fancy desserts and wine.
For professional footballers in the UK, however, this is a luxury they are not afforded with fixtures across the board on St Stephen’s Day. Players must watch what they eat, keep sipping on a bottle of water to stay hydrated and usually meet up for training to go over some last minute match preparations for the following day’s work.
In saying that, like everything, there are some exceptions. There are those players who, just like everybody else on Christmas Day, throw their responsibilities out the window and tuck into as much festive food and drink as they wish. They put the next day’s game to the back of their mind and forget about the strict discipline they typically hold themselves to during the other 364 days of the year.
One such former pro who was never shy to enjoy the festivities is former Celtic and Arsenal striker John Hartson.
Hartson was on the BT Sport panel alongside Jermaine Jenas and Steven Gerrard on Saturday night covering Tottenham Hotspur’s 3-0 win over Burnley. The post-match discussion turned to the contrast between how the three ex-footballers turned pundits now spend their Christmas Days and back when they were players preparing for a crunch fixture the following day.
While Gerrard admits he is relieved he can now kick back and enjoy a glass of wine with the family these days, Hartson openly states he did not care who he was playing against the next day, he enjoyed as much of his Christmas dinner as he wanted. In fact, the Welshman confessed he always felt a coup,e of extra pounds could prove beneficial to him on the pitch.
Check out the amusing discussion below:
"I used to eat as much as I wanted anyway. Couple of pounds doesn't matter." ??
— eir Sport (@eirSport) December 23, 2017