Theo Walcott once played in the same team as Dennis Wise – feel old yet?
The two crossed paths at totally different ends of their career, with a 16-year-old Walcott emerging at Southampton and a 39-year-old Wise winding down towards retirement.
Aged 31 and back at Saints, Walcott can now consider himself one of the senior players, but back when he was breaking into the first team during the 2005/06 season, Wise pulled the strings.
You wouldn’t exactly put Walcott and Wise together, one being so smiley and the other with a reputation among football’s hardest men.
And their friendship, which included refusing to make tea and accidentally glassing a leg, was just as strange as you might expect.
Sitting down with talkSPORT for the latest episode of Up Front With, which airs this Sunday at 9.30pm, Walcott said: “I love Dennis! It might’ve been Preston away or something. Dennis came up to me and asked to make some cups of tea for the guys on the coach.
“I was a bit like, ‘No?’ And I just put my headphones back on. He must’ve thought, ‘Who’s this little so-and-so?’
“I didn’t even know how to make teas, but I didn’t want to be carrying hot drinks down a busy coach.
“Weeks went on and I’m warming up at the Staplewood facilities, whacking the ball against the sideboard.
“I missed the boards, overhit it through the glass and into the gym. Dennis Wise came out screaming, ‘Who the f*** did that!?’
“I s*** myself. I genuinely did. First the teas, now this. I owned up to it straight away.
“All of a sudden, he just said, ‘No worries Theo’. I don’t know if Southampton told him not to p*** me off, but I like to think he got on with me really well.
“He had glass in his leg, but he took it like a man.”
Equally as unusual was the story which led to Walcott becoming a footballer in the first place.
Everyone will remember the hysteria surrounding Walcott the teenage wonderkid, who Nike signed at 14, but astonishingly, the former Arsenal winger actually started quite late.
And if it wasn’t for one kid failing to show up for a match, the world might’ve never seen Walcott’s mercurial talent.
“It was strange, I took it up very late,” he added. “My mate was playing for Steventon and went to watch him play in my school uniform.
“Someone didn’t turn up and they needed a kid to play. I didn’t know what I was doing but I thought I’d give it a go – and I ended up scoring a perfect hat-trick: left foot, right foot, header.
“After that, me and my mate would spend every day reenacting the Nike and Adidas adverts. Then a scout called Malcolm Elias picked me up and we’re still in touch at Southampton.
“It was the weirdest thing, I wasn’t interested in football at all.”
Listen to the full hour-long interview with Theo Walcott on the latest episode of Up Front With this Sunday at 9.30pm on talkSPORT!