Wednesday, July 15, 2009

After-Dinner Sports Tales - Chris Coleman

This month is my third installment of humorous after-dinner sporting tales, as told by current or ex-professional sportsman.
In May I wrote about an after-dinner tale as told by ex-footballer Rodney Marsh, last month was the turn of the former England rugby international and British Lion Wade Dooley.

Today I am returning to football and a man who is currently plying his trade as a manager, following a successful stint as a player.
Welsh international footballer Chris Coleman was born in Swansea, started his playing career at Manchester City as a trainee before moving back to his hometown club in South Wales, where he went on to made 160 appearances. He left Swansea for Crystal Palace in 1991, where he spent 4 years with the South Londoner's, and during that time won the first of his 32 caps for Wales. He left Palace for Blackburn in 1995, before joining Fulham two years later.

However, Coleman's playing career was prematurely ended after he broke his leg in three places following a horrific car crash in Surrey in January 2001.
Following managerial stints at Fulham and Real Sociedad, Coleman has been charge of Championship side Coventry City since February 2008.

Here are two amusing excerpts from a speech made by Chris at a sporting dinner.

"While I was playing for Crystal Palace, we were 3-0 down at half-time and the manager Alan Smith flew into a rage during our team talk. Sitting next to me was my team-mate Richard Shaw, and next to him a table with tea and sandwiches on it.

During his moment of anger Alan Smith threw a cup of tea at the wall and up-turned the tray of sandwiches, one of which landed on Richard's head. He was so afraid, he sat there for ten minutes with the sandwich still on the top of his head until Alan Smith left the room!"


"During the same team-talk our goalkeeper Woody (Andrew Woodman) was coming in for a bit of stick from Alan, who unstrapped his gold Rolex watch from his wrist and dangled it in front of Woody, saying, 'You'll never own one of these son, because after a performance like that, you'll never go any further in the game.'

With that he lobbed the watch at Woody to catch, who nervously dropped it on the floor!"

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