Keith Gillespie goes into brilliant detail about his fight with Alan Shearer in Dublin
Keith Gillespie had an eventful career.
He was unable to nail down a spot under Alex Ferguson at Manchester United but forged a good Premier League career for himself at Newcastle and later Blackburn Rovers. Gillespie, who earned 86 caps for Northern Ireland, has had well-documented troubles with gambling but, being declared legally bankrupt in 2010 after reportedly losing over £7 million.
His autobiography, How Not to be a Football Millionaire, is a gripping read. What was clear from that book was that Gillespie can tell stories, and one of his best involves Alan Shearer and a boozy night in Dublin.
A lot of people have heard this story but not everyone.
Shearer has shared his version before, which basically told a drunken Gillespie repeatedly smashing glasses in the bar. The Newcastle team had been drinking for eight hours. It was never going to end well.
Furious with Gillespie's behaviour, Shearer told the Larne native to 'get outside' so they could settle their differences the old-fashioned way.
On the way out of Dublin's Cafe en Seine, though, Gillespie realised he wasn't going to beat Shearer in a fight, so he decided to clock him when the striker had his guard down.
In an interview with the Daily Mail, Gillespie delves into the story in great detail.
"We were all around a big table playing drinking games,' Gillespie said. "I was losing. I knocked some cutlery over and Alan told me to pick it up. I said, "F*** off. Outside now".
You can already spot the discrepancies. Shearer says a whole table of glasses, Gillespie says 'some cutlery.'
"I was walking out in front of Alan thinking, "I've got no chance here, just get the first punch in at least".
"I thought I'd swung and missed, Alan says I actually clipped him but it couldn't have been much if I did, because he swung once and caught me on the side of the head and I fell and hit a plant pot.
"The lads all ran out and there was blood everywhere. The next thing I knew, I'd woken up in hospital. Rob Lee told Steve Howey to sort it out, just give the police a story, because Alan was England captain.
"Steve got back to the hotel and said to Rob it was all OK, he'd told the police I was the victim of a hit-and-run driver… so now the Guards are running around Dublin looking for some fella who has knocked me over.
Gillespie and Shearer made up almost immediately afterward and were able to laugh about the whole thing. One thing's for sure, though, had the Guards got to Shearer, the England captain wouldn't have been smiling.
The plant pot just added to the pain for Gillespie - Shearer looks like he could handle himself in a fight. But let's not kid ourselves here. Roy Keane would still take him.