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Newcastle United legend Alan Shearer is the Premier League's all-time top scorer with 260 goals and a leading TV pundit from the BBC's flagship football programme Match of the Day. Euro '96 Golden Boot winner Alan will be sharing his thoughts on all things football every week throughout the 2016/17 season.

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Shearer Says: “Playing football over Christmas was never an issue for me”

Alan Shearer blog: “I loved playing football over Christmas”

Coral football ambassador Alan Shearer spoke exclusively to us about his memories of playing football over the Christmas and New Year period.

I loved playing football over Christmas. At Blackburn, with Kenny Dalglish, we never used to train on Christmas Day. He used to say go and enjoy it with your family but be sensible. He’d allow us to have one glass of champagne. We’d then all meet up early on Boxing Day.

At Newcastle and Southampton it was very different. We’d sometimes train on Christmas Day and even meet up in the evening, depending on where the games were. With Newcastle and Southampton being at opposite ends of the country, if we were unlucky we could have a long away trip on Boxing Day, so we’d actually have to leave in the afternoon on Christmas Day.

Alan says that Dalglish never took training on Christmas Day at Blackburn (the duo are pictured while at Newcastle).

Alan says that Dalglish never took training on Christmas Day at Blackburn (the duo are pictured while at Newcastle).

It was never an issue for me as I just used to love playing football. We used to play on the 26th, 28th and on the 1st of January. To be honest, if the in-laws were up, it used to be a great excuse to get out of the house! I’d also look forward to a good night’s sleep in a hotel on Christmas Day evening because when you’d been woken up at 6am with the kids, it was nice to get an early night!

It’s the same now when I work on Match of the Day over Christmas and New Year. This year I have a show on Boxing Day and New Year’s eve but my family are used to it now.

Some managers like to do some form of training on Christmas Day”

Shearer says he never used to mind playing over Christmas.

Shearer says he never used to mind playing over Christmas.

Most of the games this year fall on Boxing Day, New Year’s Eve and then the 2nd January. But the clubs have not played for over a week so it should not be a problem for them, although you will still probably hear one or two managers complaining about it.

Some managers like to do some form of training on Christmas Day but it does depend on where their game is on Boxing Day. The players should not need telling that they can’t eat too much on Christmas Day; as professional athletes they know all about looking after their bodies. To stay at the top you have to put the sacrifices in. I know some people would love a winter break but it’s such a great period for sport over Christmas and New Year, I’d hate to lose those fixtures from the schedule.

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