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From today's Times On Line:

1. Jason McAteer once telephoned the police because he had locked his keys in his car. On arrival, the policeman asked him to get a hanger. McAteer returned from the dressing-room with a wooden hanger. Another time, he was sitting at a restaurant with Neil Ruddock, when the waiter asked if he wanted the pizza in eight or 16 slices? “Eight will do, I can’t eat 16,” he replied.

2. A player informed me that he missed his turn-off on the M25 and had to go all the way round again. I asked why he didn’t just turn round at the next junction. He said he hadn’t realised that cars can go in both directions around the motorway. “I thought that was another road,” he said.

3. Mike England, the former Wales manager, was enthusing at Mickey Thomas whipping in free kicks into the goal in training. “DK son, DK Mickey,” England shouted. Thomas excelled himself with one, and England yelled: “DK Mickey, absolutely superb, son. DK. Different class . . .” On another occasion, England was chastising the Wales players after a heavy defeat. “You lot are an absolute disgrace,” he raged in the dressing-room. “I guarantee, you lot will be thinking about tonight. Putting on your nice shirts, trousers and shoes and ending up in some disco. That’s what’s wrong with you.” England then wandered over to a table and said: “By the way, here are some free tickets for a nightclub, if anyone is interested.”

4. Travelling for hours by coach on a match day wasn’t much fun, so we would stock up with crisps, chocolate, fizzy drinks. The grub would be strewn on a table and as I grabbed the last Penguin bar, Frank Sinclair said: “Oh, I love those green ones.” Bemused, I replied that they are all the same. “Nah they aren’t, the green ones are the best,” he said.

5. Once at Chelsea, we spent all week rehearsing pushing out at free kicks, catching the attacking side offside. Come the Saturday, we were faced with a similar situation during the match. As we were running out, we heard a team-mate shout: “Cancel, cancel, I said cancel”. We turned around and saw him surrounded by six opponents, one of whom scored.