A Day In The Life: Sam Allardyce

Ben Mountain

Gravy flows, beer flows, inflammatory and backwards banter flows. Who else could this possibly be a day in the life for, other than Big Sam Allardyce?

We went to meet the former England and Crystal Palace gaffer bright and early near his house in Bolton. It was in a pub called the Ogre & Ape. Fittingly, when we walked in, there sat not only Sam Allardyce, but his beIN SPORTS buddy, Andy Gray.

What a delightful treat.

“‘Ear, ya. Alright, lads, how’s the day been treatin’ you? Hope you don’t mind, I thought I’d let Andy boy tag along for the interview. He’s on ‘oliday from Doha and so stopped by Bolton, like most holidaymakers, for the weekend. He’s good as gold, mind you.”

“Hello, gents.”

Two for the price of one. We could see where this was headed.

“Right, then, glad we’ve settled that one. Who’s for a bev, anyway? Pint? Andy, pint? Drink? Drinking, lads? Pint? My round.”

We’re very professional here at CLICKON and so turned down Allardyce’s offer. Having said that, it was 11 o’clock in the morning.

Whilst up at the bar – leaning heftily on it, that is – BFS seemed to be striking up a conversation.

“So, darlin’, where you from? Oh, Wigan? Lovely part of the world for a lovely lady such as yerself. Here what time you finish? Pfft, alright then, frigid. Christ.”

Two pints in hand, he returned, looking defeated. Andy Gray decided he’d then contribute to the day.

“How’s the barmaid, Sam? Looker? Here, boys, you’ll like this one. Is Google male or female? [Pause] Female, because it doesn’t let you finish a sentence before making a suggestion! Hahaha.”

“Huhuhuhuhuh. Good one, Grayey.”

A battle of deep laughs ensued and by the time it was over, the pair of middle-aged ex-pros had necked their pints.

“Time for lunch, ey?”

Allardyce grinned.


Gray cawed out.


He bellowed.

Said food turned up about 15 minutes later. Next to our table, a wheelbarrow of gravy.

The following scene was like something from Jurassic Park. Chunks of rare beef were devoured in one messy swoop. Fluids were slung down without hesitation or lavishly thrown across plates. Chitterlings went flying. Whole cauliflowers were dunked into cauldrons of melted cheese. It was a mess.

At one particularly disturbing point, Allardyce dunked his entire head into a pot of roast potatoes, as if he were apple bobbing.

He licked his fingers heartily and groaned, slapping his belly.

“Cor, good meal, that. Fit for a man. Anyway, chaps, now we’ve ‘ad some grub and some drink, we can get down to business. You want my overwhelmingly assured opinion on something that rings of the 1960s? No? Shame. Yer getting it.”

“He’s good at this.”

“Right, it all boils down to whether you’re a Brit or not. That simple. Honestly, it’s black and white. Brits are good managers. It’s why we’ve literally won nothing on the big stage this century. Sir Alex aside, of course. Anyway, we deserve more. We deserve jobs that these bloomin’ foreigners are comin’ over ‘ere to take.”

He swigged his beer, fished a last scrap of crackling from between his teeth and carried on.

“I mean, Claude Puel, yeah? Nonsense. Utter nonsense. Leicester signed ‘im up and I’ll tell you why; dodgy name. Just give it Giggsy til the end of the season. Or one of my two favourite Alans, Pardew and Curbishley. They’d do a fine job. Esteemed managers, them.”

“Craig Shakespeare, right, he’s Britain through and through. Pure Britannica. The first name, the surname, the uninspired football. He’s got the lot, what more could you want? I’ll tell you, some bloody stat on workplace equality. It’s political correctness gone mad, it is.”

Andy Gray chipped in.

“Precisely the reason I upped ship for Qatar.”

We thought it was for overt sexism leading to his dismissal.

“You see, I’ve been forced to the Middle East by a culture obsessed with attacking British men. The whole system is rigged against us, innit, Sam?”

“Too right, we’re becoming a dying bread. I don’t blame Andy for emigrating, to be honest. Better job prospects out there.”

“Take Sam, an icon of England. Booted from the national job for a bit of corruption, nonsense. He’s like the Queen, is Sam. You can’t do that.”

We informed the patriotic pair that, ironically, the Queen has just been shown to have been using a tax haven in the Cayman Islands to avoid paying millions in tax to the country she represents. You don’t get much more corrupt than that. Big Sam analyised the situation with true BFS clarity.

“Minor, mate. Listen, gimme a few grand on the sly and I’ll help you avoid tax and all. You’re not recordin’ this are you?”

We told him that, actually, we were.

“I’m not carrying on this interview, then, gentlemen. Typical, persecuting my kind again.”

And that was that. Big Sam was done. Andy Gray made the excuses up for him.

“Listen, chaps, he’s been having a rough time recently, okay? Mark Noble almost had a fight the other week and that really shook him up. He’s not in the right frame of mind. [Turning away] I know, Sam, here, get that down you. There’s a good lad. Want something to cheer you up, mate? Yeah? Oi, barmaid, stick a quid in the jukebox and put it on.”

We were no longer welcome and so began to head off. ‘We Found Love’ began to ring through the street. Sam Allardyce bellowed along, beaming now. He punched the air over and over and gave a little twirl. Bless him.

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