party footballers

8 Footballers Who Partied Too Hard

The Party Culture in the 90s

Once upon a time, drinking culture was absolutely rampant in English football. A turning point was when Liverpool’s team during the 90’s became known as The Spice Boys (After The Spice Girls) and wore the most horrific white suits to the FA Cup final, only to get thrashed by Manchester United. These undeniably talented players had seriously underachieved at Liverpool, which many attributed to their rather raucous lifestyle off the pitch.

The Spice Boys’s days were numbered, however, when a Frenchman named Gerard Houlier took over as manager at Liverpool and slowly transferred these players away from the club, making sure that the club’s rising stars such as Michael Owen, Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher would reach their potential by not getting rat-arsed every week. Another Frenchman, Arsene Wenger, was also doing pretty much the same at Arsenal and cancelled the club’s ‘Tuesday Drinking Club’, cos what else is there to do on a Tuesday? We’ll take a look at some of the key characters from the booze-fuelled era of the Premier League and also further afield.

1. Paul Merson

paul merson

An incredibly talented player at Arsenal, Merson was someone that wasn’t particularly suited to the incoming Arsene Wenger’s philosophy of maybe not binge drinking when playing sport at an elite level. Merson was a prominent member of the Tuesday Club at Arsenal and during his time with Middlesborough became roommates with Paul Gascoigne (we’ll move on to him later). They would play a ‘drinking game’ where they’d put huge wads of cash on the table, drink glasses of wine and every hour they both had to take a sleeping pill, and whoever stayed awake got to take the money with them to bed.

2. Ray Parlour

ray palour

Known as ‘The Romford Pele’, Parlour survived Wenger’s overhaul of the team’s drinking culture primarily due to his incredible talent as well as his ability to get drunk without Wenger noticing. On Soccer AM, Parlour said he was on a flight with the team and Wenger said he’ll fine him two week’s wages if he ordered Champagne. He then got off the plane and out of Wenger’s sight went to a restaurant and drank some tequila slammers and fell over three tables on the way out. The next day he went back to Romford and everyone at his local wanted him to buy him a drink. 10 pints later, he decided to turn down any further offers. The next day, Arsenal beat Man Utd and he was crowned Man of the Match. Wenger told Parlour: ‘You played brilliantly, and it’s all because I stopped you from drinking that Champagne.’

3. Jason McAteer

jason mcateer

One of Liverpool’s ‘Spice Boys’, while also playing for the Republic of Ireland McAteer also was known as ‘Trigger’, in reference to the rather clueless character in Only Fools and Horses. He once ordered a pizza and the waiter asked ‘would you like it to be cut into 4 or cut into 8?’, to which he replied ‘cut it into four, I could never eat eight’. While out in a club with the Irish football team in Dublin, he bumped into one of his heroes – snooker legend Jimmy White. He decided to go right up to him and shout ‘One hundred and eighty!’ – getting snooker mixed up with darts.

4.  Paul Gascoigne

Paul Gascoigne

An England legend and one of the best footballers of his generation, Gazza was also a hilarious character too. While touring with England across East Asia, things got quite messy in a bar in Hong Kong where someone got hold of a dentist’s chair. One thing went to another, and  Gazza was on the dentist chair and sitting back while booze was poured into him, resulting in the other England players out with him to also try this genius idea. ‘Disgracefool’ was the headline in The Sun the next day, but Gazza would have the last laugh. Scoring a goal against Scotland he did an infamous dentist chair celebration.

5. Razor Ruddock

Neil Razor Ruddock

Although a Liverpool legend, Razor was too much of a hardman to be considered a ‘Spice Boy’ but he actually claims that he was responsible for Robbie Williams leaving Take That. The defender and a few other teammates ‘kidnapped’ Williams and brought him off to party with him in Marbella, which led Williams to miss a major recording session and the resulting tensions culminated in him leaving the group.Razor’s drinking antics proved difficult in West Ham due to him being banned from Romford, which was where the club trained. A compromise was soon made that he was banned from Romford after 7pm.

6. Lee Sharpe

Lee Sharpe

We’ve spoken earlier about Gerard Houlier and Arsene Wenger’s no-nonsense approach to drinking, but Sir Alex Ferguson was also not to be messed with either. Lee Sharpe found this out the hard way while organising a house party with Ryan Giggs. Things were going quite well until the gaffer knocked on his door and gatecrashed the party, giving them both a clip round the ear. Another example is that during a seven week break he claims to have been sober for only three days, but once back training came third in the club’s 12 minute run. This eventually caught up with him as he got older.

7. Ronaldo Razario 

Moving away from the Premier League, Brazilian Ronaldo (Not Cristiano) was an avid partygoer whose wild antics might make some of the aforementioned footballers look like Mother Theresa. The Brazilian became well known for organising lavish house parties at his home Madrid and in some cases ordering buses of girls to his house at 5am in the morning.  One remarkable fact is that Real Madrid had to hire security to prevent him from organising any parties.

8. Ronaldinho

Ronaldinho

 Before Messi, Ronaldinho was the King of Barcelona and was doing things with a football that people never thought were possible. Unfortunately, the Barcelona nightlife was all too tempting for the footballer and he would spend all evening and all night out partying. This is something he could get away with during his early 20’s as time went on a beer belly started to emerge and Barcelona’s new manager, a certain Pep Guardiola, was having none of this and got him to move to AC Milan. This didn’t stop here though and the night before a Champions League semi final against Manchester United, Roanldinho was reportedly samba dancing at 4:00am.

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