Former Rangers star Andy Halliday has recalled a nightclub flashpoint involving multiple Newcastle United players during a Christmas night out in the North East of England.
Halliday spent five years at Ibrox between 2015 and 2020 and is set to make his first return to the ground as an opposition player this weekend, with Hearts taking on the Gers in Govan on Saturday afternoon.
As well as a Hearts midfielder, the 30-year-old is now a star of the popular podcast Open Goal, through which he’s built a reputation for being a fine storyteller.
In the most recent episode of their ‘Keeping The Ball On The Ground’ show, he told a cracker about a Rangers night out in Newcastle a few years back that got a little out of hand.
“Our big thing at that point was Fantasy Football,” he said. “In football clubs that is part of the banter. Newcastle had played somebody at home and Gini Wijnaldum had just scored four. And wee Jason Holt had captained Gini Wijnaldum.”
“We are in Tup Tup [Palace] at night and sure enough, Gini Wijnaldum walks in. Wee Holty, who is the quietest boy in the world, is like ‘no way Gini Wijnaldum, I need to get a picture with him’.
“Straight up, Gini can I get a picture? Wijnaldum ‘nah, no chance’. I swear to god everybody was nearly rioting. All the boys were raging because of wee Holty.
“That big [Jamaal] Lascelles coming trying to square go everyone. It was mental. It properly kicked off. Ten minutes later wee Holty is on the deck sleeping unconscious because he is blitzed.”
Wijnaldum left Newcastle for Liverpool in 2016 and spent five years at Anfield before joining PSG in the summer, but Lascelles is still with the Magpies and is now first-team captain.
Therefore, Newcastle fans will likely appreciate this story as much as Bears.
Holt, who always did come across as a relatively unassuming character, is now playing for Livingston and he’s no doubt passed on his thanks to Halliday for the embarrassing story in the time since the show was released earlier this week.