DAVID WOODS COLUMN: Sam Allardyce is underrated, blame booze for Man Utd v West Ham scenes

There’s something old school about ‘Fireman Sam’s’ look.

The moustache may have gone, but the hardcore gum-chewing continues.

The 61-year-old looks more bouncer than boss and the accent – a mix of his native Black Country and Lancashire, where he has spent much of his career – does him no favours either.

The nickname, ‘Big Sam’ also harks back to the days of muddy pitches, laced footballs, a few pints after the match, and getting stuck in on the pitch.

At least it’s an improvement from ‘Super Sam, Bionic Man’ which is what Bolton fans called him when he played – because he always bounced back up after a heavy challenge, while his opponent would be left flat on the ground.

But, gruff, tough image aside, Allardyce has pulled off a remarkable achievement keeping Sunderland up and sending former club Newcastle down.


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