Paddy Mulligan reminisces about football Christmas parties from the 1960s and '70s

"Christmas was sort of every week in that era"

Paddy Mulligan

Paddy Mulligan. Picture by: PA / PA Archive/PA Images

With camera phones and social media readily available, one can understand why football players and managers wouldn't want to be seen out and about, partying these days.

The 1960s and 1970s were a different kettle of fish.

Former Ireland full back Paddy Mulligan was playing for the likes of Chelsea, Crystal Palace and West Brom and he shared his memories of what Christmas parties were like in those days for players.

"[They were always] totally impromptu. The players came together and God knows anything could have happened. And anything did happen," he told

"And if they think they are wild now, well, you should have been back there then in the late '60s and right through the '70s. Things could have got out of hand. Let's say that you had to take care of people. Quite a few people you would have to take care of, I can assure you of that."

As expected, booze was a key part of the equation.

"In that era, it was purely a drink culture, there's no point denying it. Purely a drink culture and lads went out and enjoyed themselves. But when it came to the serious business of playing, sometimes I wonder how some of the players performed after a few days of it," he said.

Paddy Mulligan. Picture by: Henry Browne / EMPICS Sport

"And they didn't have to wait for Christmas! Christmas was sort of every week in that era. Maybe these lads [today] have more discipline these days," he said.

When it came to the drink culture, some managers were not against getting involved, although it was also a way to keep an eye on their players.

"They were probably having a look to make sure that everything was alright and that lads were getting quietly sloshed along the way," he said.

And on the aforementioned point about the absence of camera phones, he added that it was "just as well" given the antics that were happening.

"Careers could have been destroyed. Marriages could have been destroyed."

We also spoke about this weekend's Premier League action with most of the focus going on Arsenal's 2-1 defeat at Manchester City: