It was like a scene from a classic Western. The punches were flying, everyone was piling in, all it lacked was the saloon keeper pulling his Winchester rifle from from under the bar and John Wayne coming through the swing doors with a cocked Colt .45 in each hand. But then, you don't get bars, or swing doors, in the modern dressing-room.
Otherwise, the dust-up I described to the local press this week could have come straight out of Stagecoach or High Noon.
David Unsworth threw a haymaker at me, I ducked and caught him with a left uppercut. As he went down he knocked the tea caddy on to Chris Morgan's foot. Morgs reacted by turning round and chinning Alan Quinn. He wondered what happened, saw Paul Ifill and hit him. Ifill swung back but Quinn ducked and so he hit Morgs. All the while Michael Tonge stood watching.
Or maybe not. Over this last couple of weeks the unofficial websites have been claiming we're all at each others' throats. You get that when teams aren't winning but it got to the stage where there were so many rumours I felt we had to react to it. So, hopefully, we've put it to bed.
As you might expect, I have been involved in genuine punch-ups. I remember one Marcus Bent and Paul Devlin didn't see eye-to-eye. One of them - I won't say which - went to put his face in front of the other. It wasn't the brightest thing to do as he was headbutted. We hadn't even lost. After all that they got on great.
This may surprise you, but I was never involved in a dust-up in my playing days. Fights then tended to be on the training ground. Someone would get clattered, they'd get up and thump the guy who did it. As a winger I kept out of tackles.
2. Goodbye Jinky
Being an ex-winger I paused for thought when I heard Jimmy Johnstone had died. He was coming to the end of his career when
he came to Bramall Lane but he had some mazy dribbles and was still well thought of. Those type of players seem to be in the past. I see he got a good send-off yesterday and he deserved it for the entertainment he provided.
3. I'm a small fry punter
On Tuesday I took the lads to Cheltenham. Before anyone thinks it was a bonding exercise to get over all those punch-ups it had been organised for months. I'd never been before and I was amazed how many football clubs were in attendance. It was good to catch up on the gossip. We had a lovely meal and, come the first race, my horse won by a nose. The lads weren't pleased with that but it made for a good afternoon for me.
Not that I'm a big punter, £20 a race does me. Unlike some of the hitters we saw in the betting ring. Some of them were punting £40,000 to £50,000 - and they weren't footballers. It was an experience just seeing that. I'm told the Irish don't go on holiday all year just so they can go there for four days.
It was a fantastic atmosphere. There was no hassle, no yobs, just good light-hearted banter. It took us a while to get back, we left at six and got back at half-nine - or so I'm told.
4. Sven has found a cracking hideaway
When I saw the hotel Sven has picked out for the World Cup I thought "what a cracking place". Even celebrities, and there are some in the squad who are top of that list, like a bit of privacy at times and they'll get that.
People think the squad might go stir crazy being there for five weeks but the World Cup's the pinnacle of their careers and boredom won't come into it. My lads have computers and games as well as films and I'm sure the staff will have other things to keep them occupied. Footballers are an amazing group of people. When they get together there is so much laughter. There's nothing like the dressing-room humour. You really miss it when you call it a day.
5. Keep going, and you'll get your reward
Wednesday was a big night. William passed his swimming grades three and four. A pool is a long way for a four-year-old and you should have seen the wife and I screaming at him to keep going while his little face kept bobbing up trying to breathe.
It shows how resilient kids are. I hope my players can follow his lead and keep going as well. Now the others have caught us the pressure's on, but that applies in every division, every promotion and relegation battle. The tension at Birmingham v West Brom last week could be felt just watching on television. While we've had a dip we're still in a fantastic position, one we'd have taken at the start of the season.
6. How could they axe Mike Baldwin?
I was shocked this week at the grim news that Mike Baldwin's going to be written out of Corrie. What on earth is my programme coming to? It just won't be the same without him. If they keep writing out the regulars I'll have to start having my evening meal at 7.30 instead of watching Corrie first and having it at eight.
7. The disguise works
I write this having just come back from pushing the barrow round Tesco. It was a bit uncomfortable, what with the wig and moustache I was wearing. I hope we start winning again so I can leave the house without them.Reuse content