Sunderland striker Danny Graham has revealed an amusing story from his first spell as a Black Cats footballer, seeing him get rather drunk on a training camp in Dubai.
The striker is back at the Black Cats as they look to earn promotion from League One but he is perhaps still searching for the form that made him a hit at previous club Blackburn.
He’s been looking back at his first spell at the Wearside outfit, though, where he joined under Martin O’Neill and he’s revealed that, at the start of the winter training camp in Dubai, he and some of the players got a bit carried away with the booze.
Quoted by the Open Goal podcast, he said:
“We get on the plane for a winter training camp to Dubai. Next thing I heard a few of the lads asking for bottles of wine.
“I turned round and it was a few of the lads. There was a few rows of us drinking wine and cans of Heineken.
“Next thing we know we’re asking for more and the plane was dry. The lads were spangled.
“What a start it was. We got to the hotel late and Lee Cattermole and Titus Bramble said we’ll go to our rooms and order us some more drink.
“I’d only just signed about four weeks ago. Steven Fletcher knocked on my door and we went down. Before I knew it, it was ten to six and we had to be on the coach for nine for training. I was thinking oh my god.”
“We did one vs one and I was thinking I could be sick at any moment here.
“I was up against this lad who – I don’t think even made an appearance for Sunderland, or he may have made an substitute appearance. I thought, one on one, three minutes, I’ll beat him.
“I was 4-0 down and looking around watching the lads laugh at me. Martin has shouted ‘Dan get at him’ so I’m steaming trying to get at him and I fell over the ball.
“I was 5-0 down and he blew the whistle and said that was enough. I was lying on the floor thinking oh my god.
“The lads absolutely caned me and the gaffer chirped up – he was fine, to be honest, he knew I’d had a beer and he said something.
“We got back on the bus and I said ‘Gaffer I hope you haven’t signed me to take players on’ and just sat back down in my seat.
“The whole bus has erupted and I’ve just thought have I really said that?
“I’m looking around and Fletch [Steven Fletcher] was crying. Everyone was crying and I’m thinking what an idiot I am.
“Luckily he saw the funny side.”
Graham evidently enjoyed his early days as a Sunderland player but the striker soon saw Martin O’Neill leave after his arrival as they fought against the drop in the Premier League.
The former Swansea forward didn’t score as many as he would have liked during his first spell on Wearside and will be looking to change that during his second spell, now in League One.
The Black Cats are currently sixth in the league but are second-joint lowest in terms of goals scored as a side among those teams in the top half of the third tier table.