Shay Given on the time he bought Alessandro Pistone an actual heart for Christmas

It didn't go down well with his Newcastle team-mate

BY Raf Diallo 20:39 Thursday 7 December 2017, 20:39 7 Dec 2017

This is the time of year when we start picking out presents for their nearest and dearest.

Football clubs are no different, although the unique environment of a dressing room means the gifts can be both risque and rather creative.

Take Ireland legend Shay Given for example who shared one story as he joined Kevin Kilbane and Nathan Murphy to talk about the stories from his autobiographies. 

Back in his Newcastle United days, a present he sought out for then team-mate Alessandro Pistone did not go down particularly well.

"I bought him a heart for Christmas once. It didn't go down well!" said Given, before explaining the thinking behind that present.

Alessandro Pistone at Newcastle. Matthew Ashton/EMPICS Sport

"I went to the butchers and I got a heart, a lamb's heart or whatever or a cow's. I just know the butcher got me a heart and wrapped it up in tinfoil.

"It was like a Secret Santa and I got Pistone as the name out of the hat and he's opening up the tinfoil and he's looking at it and he's there, 'What is this? What is this? (complete with hand gestures)'.

After explaining the motive behind buying the heart - it had something to do with the Italian defender being injury prone - Pistone "was even more angry after that!"

Meanwhile club captain Alan Shearer was tasked with getting Given's present.

"He'd done this mannequin thing with this square box head and two weeks before, they asked me for signed gloves for charity but they were on the mannequin. I didn't realise. It didn't click obviously because I've got quite a cube head so he got a big box for the top of the mannequin."

Meanwhile, former Georgian midfielder Temuri Ketsbaia got a hair brush on account of him being completely bald while Paul Dalglish also had the proverbial taken out of him.

"You know those footballs you had as a kid with the string at the end of it with a football? Because the lads said his first touch was that bad, the ball always got away from him. So he was fuming and kicked it over the restaurant roof or something. But the worst reaction, the better craic it was!"  


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