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Christmas Carols and Parlor Games

Arsenal legend Ray Parlor has revealed how the club’s academy stars had to sing Christmas carols outside the London colony to get tips from first-team players.

The 48-year-old announced that as part of the Gunners’ celebratory tradition, youngsters sang in an effort to earn a Christmas bonus.

As well as cleaning the shoes of senior footballers, academy players had to stand on a box outside the club’s training ground before playing the coveted carol.

Speaking to talkSPORT, Parlor, who made his Arsenal debut in January 1992, said: “I was on like £27.50 a week.

“It was a big deal for the trainees that they got bonuses from the players who cleaned the shoes.

“So, what you had to do was a big box outside the training ground in the London colony, every trainee had to stand on the box to sing a Christmas carol.

“They got paid the way they sang. You wanted really big players, David O’Leary and Tony Adams and people like them because they’d give you big money.

“I had three reserve team players, it was a nightmare, I probably got a tenor each, maybe £20 each.”

The parlor also recalled the time she was thrown in the mud by the iconic Captain Adams after singing ‘Little Donkey’.

He commented: “They had buckets of water ready and it was clearly a very cold morning when you had to sing.

“I had to sign ‘Little Donkey’ and I just went to Donkey and Tony Adams followed me because he was called Donkey at the time. Donkey Adams.

“He followed me, grabbed me, threw me in the mud, fair mud all around you, buckets of water flowing over your head.

“But I didn’t have to sing. Believe it or not, the players were really nervous before they went out to sing in front of George Graham, First Team Team, it’s a nightmare, it really is.


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