No gym for Jimmy

Last Updated: 25/12/12 11:02am

Bullard: full of Christmas cheer

For the first time in his adult life, Jimmy Bullard did not spend Christmas morning at football training.

"I was with Barry Fry for a few years and he was alright: 'Eat what you want, drink what you want, just make sure you're on time!'"

Jimmy Bullard

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Instead he was the special guest on the Soccer AM Xmas Special!

The former Wigan, Hull, Peterborough and Fulham midfielder has spent more than a decade attending training on December 25 ahead of the Boxing Day fixtures.

He says most managers were fairly strict with their players over the Christmas period - except his former Peterborough boss Barry Fry.

But after announcing his retirement earlier this year, he says this year's Christmas experience is very different.

"I'm going to miss football, but being at home with the family is nice," he told Max and Helen.

"Even when I was injured I had to go in for a bit of training. Obviously you fancy a Christmas Day off, but we had to be in for training at 9am or 10am and then you're playing Boxing Day.

"I always ate what I wanted though. Not drink, but I always ate what I wanted. I got away with it.

"I was with Barry Fry for a few years and he was alright: 'Eat what you want, drink what you want, just make sure you're on time!' With the stricter ones you've got to be a bit careful.

"This year I'm going to spend Christmas Day indoors. I definitely don't cook - and I don't finance it either!

"I haven't got a clue how to do it; I know how to peel a potato and that'll do!"

As one of the most colourful characters in the game, Bullard admits he was often given the job of organising the players' Christmas party at many of his former clubs.

And while he was unwilling to share too many dressing room secrets, he told us about one memorable fancy dress party at Wigan Athletic.

He said: "I always got the entertainment manager's job at the clubs I was at - and they loved it!

"There were a few that pushed the boat out and a few arrests that I can't say, but I was at one when Michael Flynn and Neil Roberts both dressed as Batman and Robin.

"After a few, they were both having a tear-up on the street. So you had Batman and Robin having a squabble on the street! It was classic!

"You probably had to be there..."