Friday, September 29, 2023

Kevin Nolan recalls time Sam Allardyce grabbed him by the ear and pinned him against a wall as young player at Bolton

Kevin Nolan and Sam Allardyce followed each other around throughout their careers but nearly had a falling out early on.

Allardyce ended up signing Nolan twice in his career, once at Newcastle and then at West Ham, where the midfielder remains to this day as a coach.

Nolan came up through the academy at Bolton and became a club legendGetty

Allardyce is revered as a hero at Bolton after a fine spell there

But the two actually started their relationship at Bolton when Nolan was a teenager and an up-and-coming talent while Allardyce arrived as manager to replace Colin Todd.

In the early days, Nolan knew straight away that he would get on well with his new boss.

However, there was one day when Allardyce had pinned the Liverpool-born starlet up against the wall having been left angry with the player’s effort in a training session.

In a lengthy chat with Andy Goldstein and Darren Bent on talkSPORT Drive, Nolan revealed all on a classic story about Big Sam.

He said live on air: “Sam had picked his XI [for the weekend] and I obviously wasn’t in the XI. I was 19, I might have just turned 20.

“So I remember thinking, ‘I’m not having this, I am going to see him’. I am raging.

“And I trained like it, a bit lethargic, and you think you have got away with it.

“This is why Sam was so good because he has given it one of them so I am thinking, ‘I am fuming’. He’s like ‘Kev, come and see me in the office in a bit’.

Nolan opened up on the time Allardyce pinned him up against the wall

Nolan and Allardyce have got on well throughout their careers – except one timeGetty

“I was like, ‘yep yep’, but I was thinking ‘yeah, I will. I was coming anyway. I am definitely coming to see you’.

“So I have knocked on his door and walked in and literally before I even got to sit down, he has jumped up, grabbed hold of me, by the ear, and he has got me up against the wall.

“He said, ‘if you EVER, ever do that to one of my training sessions again, you will know’.

“And I’ve just gone, ‘yep I was just coming to say sorry gaffer!’”

As history would go on to prove, the matter was settled there and then and Nolan went on to become a key player at the Reebok Stadium for Bolton.

He would even go on to take the captain’s armband off legendary player Jay-Jay Okocha and made 345 appearances for the Wanderers.

Allardyce, meanwhile, is still renowned for his managerial nous having saved Blackburn, Everton and Crystal Palace from relegation.

However, his reputation as a firefighter coach has taken a dampening after being relegated with West Brom and Leeds in his last two roles, though the Whites were in dire straits by the time he took over earlier this year.

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