Theo Walcott as soon as performed in the identical crew as Dennis Clever – really feel previous but?
The 2 crossed paths when a 16-year-old Walcott emerged at Southampton and a 39-year-old Clever wound down in direction of retirement.
Aged 32 and again at Saints, Walcott can now think about himself one of many senior gamers, however again when he was breaking into the primary crew throughout the 2005/06 season, Clever pulled the strings.
You wouldn’t precisely put Walcott and Clever collectively, one being so smiley and the opposite with a popularity amongst soccer’s hardest males.
And their friendship, which included refusing to make tea and by accident glassing a leg, was simply as unusual as you may count on.
Sitting down with talkSPORT at first of the yr for our Up Entrance With sequence, Walcott stated: “I like Dennis! It’d’ve been Preston away or one thing. Dennis got here as much as me and requested to make some cups of tea for the blokes on the coach.
“I used to be a bit like, ‘No?’ And I simply put my headphones again on. He should’ve thought, ‘Who’s this little so-and-so?’
“I didn’t even know how one can make teas, however I didn’t need to be carrying sizzling drinks down a busy coach.
“Weeks went on and I’m warming up on the Staplewood services, whacking the ball in opposition to the sideboard.
“I missed the boards, overhit it by way of the glass and into the gymnasium. Dennis Clever got here out screaming, ‘Who the f*** did that!?’
“I s*** myself. I genuinely did. First the teas, now this. I owned as much as it right away.
“Swiftly, he simply stated, ‘No worries Theo’. I don’t know if Southampton instructed him to not p*** me off, however I prefer to suppose he obtained on with me very well.
“He had glass in his leg, however he took it like a person.”
Equally as uncommon was the story which led to Walcott turning into a footballer within the first place.
Everybody will bear in mind the hysteria surrounding Walcott the teenage wonderkid, who Nike signed at 14, however astonishingly, the previous Arsenal winger truly began fairly late.
And if it wasn’t for one child failing to point out up for a match, the world may’ve by no means seen Walcott’s mercurial expertise.
“It was unusual, I took it up very late,” he added. “My mate was enjoying for Steventon and went to observe him play in my college uniform.
“Somebody didn’t flip up they usually wanted a child to play. I didn’t know what I used to be doing however I assumed I’d give it a go – and I ended up scoring an ideal hat-trick: left foot, proper foot, header.
“After that, me and my mate would spend each day reenacting the Nike and Adidas adverts. Then a scout known as Malcolm Elias picked me up and we’re nonetheless in contact at Southampton.
“It was the weirdest factor, I wasn’t serious about soccer in any respect.”