From tinsel and turkey to fancy dress… the changing face of football's Xmas parties (and, yes, it used to be a bit more civilised…)
12:50 GMT, 6 December 2012
It's that time of the year again – frosty mornings, Christmas carols on the radio, glitter and tinsel around the house and High Street shopping hell as you try and find a gift Auntie Gertrude and Uncle Bob might actually like.
And despite it being one of the busiest periods in the football calendar, the players always seem to find time for a Christmas bash – cue photos of superstars looking embarrassed in ridiculous fancy dress or a little worse for wear after stumbling out a nightspot at 3am.
Just this week, we've had West Ham's Andy Carroll accused of assaulting a photographer on the club's festive jaunt to Dublin and Harry Redknapp cancelling QPR's planned party because they just don't deserve it.
Sir Alex Ferguson always reserves the right to ban Manchester United's festivities at the eleventh hour, while Andre Villas-Boas is the anti-Scrooge – he said Tottenham's players should have two or even three nights out this December.
We've certainly come a long way since the players sat round the table for turkey and sprouts with the club directors, as our stroll down a snow-flecked memory lane shows.
Not-so-lively affair: No flaming sambucas or dance-offs at the Tottenham Hotspur Christmas dinner in 1960, just a chat about the club's fortunes with the chairman and board of directors over turkey and two servings of sprouts. The picture at the top is of the 1921 Cup winning side and maybe it inspired the team – they won it in 1961
Plenty of bite! Dave Dunmore of West Ham United tears off a piece of turkey leg kindly stuffed into his mouth by teammate John Bond at their Christmas bash in 1960
Right old knees up: The Tottenham vintage of 1962 sing and dance along to Knees Up Mother Brown in what appears to be the back room of a pub, but is actually the White Hart Lane canteen. Pictured are (left to right): Tony Marchi (with fake moustache), Terry Dyson, John Hollowbread, Jimmy Greaves, Dave McKay, John White, Freddie Brown and either a WAG or the canteen's dinner lady
Greavesy the saint: In a sight that would make a modern club dietician wince, Jimmy Greaves offers a tray laden with mince pies and Christmas pudding to Tony Marchi (centre) and Terry Dyson (right) at the 1962 bash. It had been a good year for Spurs as they retained the FA Cup with a 3-1 win over Burnley
Whole new ball game: The 1966 Crystal Palace team partake in some after dinner entertainment at the Savoy Hotel, as manager Bert Head watches on (bottom left)
Family Christmas: In the days when photographers and journalists were invited into players' homes, Manchester United and England star Bobby Charlton is pictured with wife Norma asking daughters Suzanne and Andrea what they would like for Christmas 1968. It had been a great year for Charlton, as United won the European Cup
A team in tune: Fulham's players grab their instruments and take to the stage for an impromptu performance at their 1968 party. Performing Live, it's Les Barrett on clarinet, John Dempsey on drums, Johnny Haynes on the maracas and Johnny /12/06/article-2243862-165C2632000005DC-821_964x775.jpg” width=”964″ height=”775″ alt=”Right at home: George Best, dressed in a Santa outfit, posing with five lovelies at a 1969 film premiere ” class=”blkBorder” />
Santa baby: George Best couldn't look more relaxed as he poses with five lovelies in Santa outfits at a 1969 charity film premiere. Awkwardly, the girl behind him was his former girlfriend Eva Haraldsted, who had been chosen to play the part of 'Mummy Christmas' at the event
What I want for Christmas… Manchester City legend Mike Summerbee and Beauty Queen Jenny McAdam entertain three young children at a 1969 Christmas party at the Odeon Cinema in Manchester
What a beautiful bird! It's Christmas 1980 and Manchester City's coaching staff have been hard at work in the kitchen rustling up a turkey dinner for the players. Manager John Bond grasps the tray through a tea towel, while assistant John Benson (left) and coach John Sainty (right) prepare to carve
Ho ho ho! Liverpool's Kenny Dalglish and his children meet Father Christmas in 1980 – Kelly can't wait to rip into her present, but Paul doesn't look so sure
Hello sailor! This very non-festive, but still hilarious, scene was on the front of Sampdoria's club Christmas card in 1994. If you look very closely at the back row, you can pick out future England manager Sven Goran Eriksson and next to him, David Platt
Fashionistas: /12/06/article-2243862-165C2618000005DC-267_964x715.jpg” width=”964″ height=”715″ alt=”On the march: The Manchester United squad on the city's streets on their 2002 Christmas party after leaving Mulligan's Irish Pub” class=”blkBorder” />
On the march: Manchester United players taking a stroll around the city centre on their Christmas night out in 2002 after leaving Mulligans Irish Pub. (Left to right) Luke Chadwick (who looks a bit worse for wear), Nicky Butt, Ryan Giggs, John O'Shea, David May, Rio Ferdinand and Wes Brown
Good form: The West Ham party in 2007 had a sports theme and delivered some cracking costumes, including Lee Bowyer in his jockey silks and Peruvian Nolberto Solano wondering why on earth he came as a cricketer… or indeed, what cricket actually is
You shall go to the ball! Frank Lampard is some fetching attire as he arrives at Chelsea's Christmas fancy dress party at Stamford Bridge in December 2007
Captain, Leader, Superhero John Terry in his Mr Incredible costume driving to the Chelsea party in 2007
A few too many, Gio Tottenham's Giovani Dos Santos is dragged into a taxi by bouncers after throwing up outside Taman Gang Club in Marble Arch on the club's 2008 do
Spotty and dotty: Manchester City's players outside the Piccolino restaurant on their Christmas night out in 2010
Costume capers: The Manchester City squad went even further when they hit the town in London last year, wearing a variety of fancy dress outfits