It’s perhaps not uncommon for people to be sick after a Christmas night out.
However, Jim McInally can remember a time when Dundee United players vomited not because of the excesses of their do, but because of manager Jim McLean.
Up and down the country in recent weeks people from all manner of workplace have been getting into the festive spirit with a Christmas night out.
Footballers are no different, with squads from clubs up and down the leagues hitting the pubs in the run-up to Christmas and into New Year.
Many, including part-time teams, fly off to places like Dublin, Prague and even Benidorm for a weekend where they can let their hair down.
However, festive dos have changed considerably in recent times.
Peterhead manager McInally remembers some memorable ones during his playing days at Dundee United, when a feeling of dread surrounded their squad’s Christmas night out.
He said: “The biggest dread for us was always our Christmas night out because we knew the next day we would get absolutely pummelled by Jim McLean.
“We used to go to the Christmas do and worry about the next day.
“I didn’t drink then but I used to think ‘why am I getting punished for other people drinking?’
“You would go in the next day and all the cones would be laid out and it would be running, running and more running.
“We used to be punished after our Christmas night out and he just used to make people run until they were sick.
“Then, sure enough, the police would usually appear at some point because of an incident the night before.
“There were always incidents because if there were Dundee supporters they would look for hassle.
“We weren’t like the modern-day players who go to Dublin or Prague or Benidorm or wherever they go.
“I’m a dinosaur but I don’t know why they always have to go away somewhere.”
Tannadice boss McLean being such a disciplinarian and powerful figure meant nothing escaped him.
McInally added: “So many stories used to get back to Jim McLean.
“He had so many people in Dundee who would carry stories back to him.
“About half of them were true and the other half were made up.
“I remember one year in Broughty Ferry. There were something like 18 pubs in Broughty Ferry at the time so it was the famous round of golf where you go for a drink in every pub.
“By the time we got to some of the later pubs some of the boys were absolutely wrecked.
“Jim McLean stayed in Broughty Ferry so by the time we got into Tannadice the next morning Jim had had about five publicans on the phone saying we were a disgrace.”
Another memorable festive do for McInally was when the United squad hired a boxing booth and he ended up grappling with team-mate Christian Dailly.
He said: “I remember one year we hired an inflatable boxing booth.
“The gloves were bigger than normal boxing gloves so it was hard to punch and I was drawn against Christian Dailly, who was a beast of a boy,
“This was the first fight and I remember the rules being read out, ‘wait for the bell etc’. I thought ‘I’m not waiting for the bell I’m hitting him to get him down early’.
“I hit him before the bell, got him down and then wrestled with him for three minutes and he couldn’t get up and punch me.
“It was like boxing in a bouncy castle so it was like wrestling really. Once Christian was down we couldn’t get up again.
“That was as wild as we got on a Christmas night out.”