Tottenham’s ‘dodgy lasagne’
Tottenham were on the brink of a Champions League place in 2006 and faced a key game against West Ham. The squad stayed at the Marriott Hotel in Canary Wharf and had a buffet, with many opting for lasagne.
By the morning, several players were vomiting. Boss Martin Jol wanted the game called off — it went ahead and Spurs lost 2-1. The club threatened to sue the hotel, who were absolved of wrongdoing as the sickness was put down to the norovirus.
Branco’s ‘spiked’ water bottle
Brazil were eliminated from the 1990 World Cup by arch rivals Argentina, blaming a spiked water bottle. Branco was marking Diego Maradona and, during a break in play, the defender took a swig from a bottle handed to him by the Argentina bench.
He felt drowsy almost immediately and Maradona promptly set up Claudio Caniggia, who scored the only goal of the game. Later, Branco claimed tranquillisers had been put in the bottle.
What was in Banks’ beer?
England were set to face West Germany in the 1970 World Cup quarter-finals and keeper Gordon Banks had a beer as a nightcap two days before the game.
When the squad gathered in the morning, Banks was shivering and sweating. He was replaced in the team by Peter Bonetti, whose display was slammed after England lost 3-2.
Banks suspected skulduggery, telling Sportsmail in 2016: ‘What shook me was that we all ate exactly the same food, so how come I was the only one who got food poisoning? It doesn’t add up.’
Hammam’s alarming tactics
Ahead of their 2003 Division Two play-off final against Cardiff City at the Millennium Stadium, Queens Park Rangers checked into the Celtic Manor Hotel in Newport.
In the early hours on the morning of the match, with the players asleep, Neil McNamara — a bodyguard employed by Cardiff owner Sam Hammam — set off the fire alarm. The QPR squad had to jump out of bed and assemble outside.
McNamara was fined £1,000, but the episode cost QPR far more as Cardiff won 1-0 after extra time to secure promotion.