beer

Eevee’s Dan Pritchard talks smashed sports stars and epic binges…

 
The start of a new year: it can mean great things for any ordinary person. Often, January provides the catalyst for us to make some serious life changes – like losing weight or quitting smoking. However, for most people, the start of a new year means giving up alcohol.
Usually, this abstinence comes as a result of too much Christmas overindulgence Of course, this is not just a once a year occasion (and it’s not solely restricted to us “normal folk” either). As we see far too often in the media, both celebrities and sports stars are also fond of a tipple. Here’s 3 sports stars who have been guilty of hitting the bottle a little too hard…

3. Andrew “Freddie” Flintoff and Kevin Pietersen

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I don’t know about anyone else, but I am a man who always felt a connection with Freddie. He was the epitome of ‘every man’ – someone you could easily imagine sharing a couple of pints with. And, as we saw all too well during the Ashes celebrations back in 2005, Flintoff is definitely a man who enjoys a few pints. The Ashes triumph gave Flintoff and his main accomplice, Kevin Pietersen, the perfect opportunity to indulge – and they duly obliged. After a 24 hour drinking session (which left more than a few of England’s cricketers unable to recollect any of the previous night’s events) Freddie and his gang stopped drinking long enough to visit 10 Downing Street.

2. Pat Rafter

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The Aussie became a legend after he was the first Australian to win the US open in 24 years, beating Greg Rusedski in four sets. Not content with that accomplishment, he even went back and won the competition 12 months later. Rafter went on to win 11 singles titles in his illustrious career. However, his success on the court isn’t why he makes this list. Back in 1997, in a Davis cup match, Pat played (and won) a full match despite still being drunk from the night before.
“I was still drunk coming here this morning,” Rafter told reporters after the win. “I started sobering up half-way through – I felt great in the third set.”
Of course getting hammered and playing in front of paying crowds is never condoned, but in the wise words of the great Ron Burgundy “I’m not even angry…I’m impressed”.

1. Diego Maradona

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Straight in at the top of my list it’s none other than Argentinian football legend, Diego Maradona. Back in 1994, Maradona scored a goal against Greece that would begin his downfall as a player. After seeing the Argentineans knock the ball gracefully to each other, the ball fell to Maradona just outside the box. He the proceeded to do what he knew best, effortlessly bending the ball into the back of the net. Unfortunately, he then sprinted directly towards the facing the cameras. His wide, red eyes and incoherent screaming pretty much confirmed he wasn’t just high on excitement. Unsurprisingly, he was asked to submit to a drugs test. He failed the test, got kicked out of the competition and was unable to regain his once great stature.