West Ham legend admits 'pandemonium' fist fight while at club under Sam Allardyce

James Collins and Andy Carroll made up quickly after the bust-up.James Collins and Andy Carroll made up quickly after the bust-up.
James Collins and Andy Carroll made up quickly after the bust-up. | Getty Images
James Collins made over 200 appearances for West Ham and shared one of his most memorable stories from his time at the club.

Former West Ham defender James Collins has shared a hilarious story from his time with the Hammers, involving a bust-up with big striker Andy Carroll while Sam Allardyce was in charge at the club.

Speaking on the Undr The Cosh podcast, the 40-year-old recalled a pre-season training camp in Germany while playing under Big Sam. The former Everton and Sunderland manager was in charge of the London outfit between 2011 and 2015, during Collins' second spell on the books at the Boleyn Ground.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Collins explained that the squad had been granted a night out after working hard before the campaign's start and said: "We found this bar that looked half-decent. We were in this bar, p***ed, got a bit lively and Kev [Nolan] and Andy started having an argument about something. They were really arguing, I got in the middle and told them to leave it out.

"Andy's gone, you could see his eyes are gone, he wanted to chin someone. I thought, I'll have a go. I'm not sure if Andy will tell the same story as I was p***ed!

"I swung for Andy, missed him by a foot and he has gone and hit me on the cheek. I've been hit a couple of times, never so hard in all my life. It didn't knock me out but I took a knee. Noble is in the middle of us, it's pandemonium.

"We stood up, had a pint, shook hands and got on with it. Don't get hit by Andy Carroll! He is one strong geezer."

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Collins, who retired from football in 2020 having last played for Ipswich Town, made 214 appearances for West Ham. He went on to explain that Big Sam had caught wind of the bust-up with Carroll, who is now playing his football at Ligue 2 side Amiens.

The defender said: "Next morning, my cheek is out here. We've gone down and Sam has heard something has gone on.

James Collins and Andy Carroll made up quickly after the bust-up.James Collins and Andy Carroll made up quickly after the bust-up.
James Collins and Andy Carroll made up quickly after the bust-up. | Getty Images

"The whole squad is sat down, Sam's gone, 'What's gone on last night? Whoever was involved stay in this gym whoever wasn't leave'.

"I stayed there, Nobs stayed there, Kev has stayed there - Andy wasn't there for whatever reason, he might have been with the physios. Sam was fuming, saying it was a disgrace. We thought we were in for it.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"All the squad leave, the door closes and Big Sam goes, 'Oh you buggers, what have you been up to?'. He absolutely loved it. Obviously, he had to do something and I think we got fined in the end or something."

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.