It’s no secret that footballers love a night out – and why shouldn’t they? Unfortunately, history suggests it is not always the best idea as a few pints can quite quickly turn into a scandal. Just ask Danny Drinkwater.
Burnley midfielder Drinkwater was widely condemned after suffering an ankle ligament injury in a nightclub scrap and is now facing two weeks on the sidelines.
However, two former Premier League stars have moved to explain the shocking abuse players often face from the public when they dare to let their hair down.
Speaking to the Liquid Football podcast, produced by JOE in partnership with Paddy Power, Wayne Bridge and Jon Walters tried to shed some light on why Drinkwater might have found himself in the middle of a fight.
“I get it when I’m walking down the street sometimes and there might be eight guys together,” Bridge said.
“It will be one person showing off in front of his mates just shouting abuse and I’ve just got to laugh it off and walk away. If you react it just explodes into something else.
I don’t mind if I’m on my own, I laugh and walk off, but if I’m with my family it’s the worst thing.
“If someone’s got the nerve to do that in front of your family I think it’s too much. I was with one of my friends one night, we were chatting to a group of guys, all friendly and everything was nice.
“But as I walked off they started shouting stuff. My mate went and said something, and I ended up having to drag him away.”
Walters agreed: “You get used to it, you harden to it. It’s never one on their own, ever. I’ve never, ever seen just one person on their own. It’s always a group and they’ve normally had a drink.
“I never go out now for that reason. I live near Liverpool and whenever I went out there was someone who had to say something.
“And you know what, it’s just a game of football. I went out to a pub locally one night, I hadn’t been out for a while and I forgot there was a Liverpool match earlier on.
“I don’t actually mind Liverpool but there a group of lads, I was with my wife, my friend and his partner and there was this guy just singing ‘Jonny Walters, get out of our pub!’
He went on for about 10 minutes and obviously everyone in the pub could hear it.
“In the end, I turned around to him and said ‘what’s your f*****g problem?’ Then all his mates dragged him away and I was like ‘why didn’t you do that 10 minutes ago?’
He was making a show of himself and had too much to drink.
“That’s why I don’t go out anymore. You’re always a target. It’s a shame really because I don’t mind interacting with fans. I never did.
“You just get a few idiots and one idiot always ruins it for everyone else.”