Kieron Dyer in ‘I’m a Celebrity’, well, whatever next?
PUBLISHED: 14:50 10 November 2015 | UPDATED: 14:05 11 November 2015
As former Ipswich Town star Kieron Dyer prepares for life in the I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here jungle, Mike Bacon, who has been pals with Kieron for 20 years, takes a look at how he thinks he will get on.
I’ve known Kieron for 20 years and we have always kept in touch through the highs and lows of football gossip, back pages, front pages, Christenings, weddings, transfers, injuries, Ferraris and Hummers (and that’s just my cars!)
However, with me, the local journo and he the England professional footballer, our relationship has been built on trust.
Not that he asked me if he should go into the Jungle you understand - I’d have said ‘you’re mad’!
When he played for Ipswich Town, Kieron was a columnist for three seasons on the Green’Un football paper when I was editor, two while at Portman Road (the column was called ‘Special K’) and one for a season after he was transferred to Newcastle – column name: ‘Howay The Lad’! – see what we did there?
He never let me down doing the column, but I told him in no uncertain terms if he wanted to do it, then you damn well do it!
I remember as a teenager when he broke his leg playing for Town against Watford at Portman Road, he hobbled into the Green’Un offices the next day to do ‘Special K’.
I wouldn’t have minded but I was on my day off and catching up with a bit of Wii football, bottle of coke and prawn cocktail crisps at home in my Man Cave.
He called: “I’m at the Star waiting to do my column. I want to tell the fans I’ll be back soon, where are you?,” he said.
I drove back into the office and there he was, crutches in hand, signing a few autographs to fans who had nipped in to pick up a Star newspaper only to find the guy on the back page was standing in front of them!
I was a bit peeved on my day off to have been disturbed, I loved that Wii at the time. But I couldn’t knock him. After all, I’m the one who had told him not to let me down – bless him!!
But the highlight for my Green’Un readers was when Kieron made his England debut against Luxembourg at Wembley in 1999, then as a Newcastle player.
I hadn’t heard from him all week and he had texted me to say it might be tricky to do ‘Howay The Lad’, as he was with the England squad, which was understandable.
Then, out of the blue at 12.15pm on the day of the game, he called.
I was in the office putting the final touches together for the Green’Un, as well as stuffing a pepperoni pizza, heavy on the chilli.
“Sorry mate I haven’t called, can we do the column now?,” he said.
“I’m in the hotel waiting to be picked up for the game. But I’ve got 15 minutes.”
That was Kieron, spontaneous, yet loyal.
And I had the best ‘Howay The Lad’ column you could wish for – live from England’s latest debutant, just hours before kick-off.
He ended up with 33 England caps and too many injuries, sadly. The press coverage he received throughout his football career was mostly negative, often unfair and on far too many occasions totally untrue.
He loves his family to bits and always, but always leaves delivery of Christmas presents until late Christmas Eve!
So, how will he get on in the jungle?
For a lad who is quite shy and takes a long time to get to trust people, I think Kieron will be a slow burner.
I will be very surprised if he starts off all gung-ho, but as he relaxes into it – and hopefully enjoys it and gets kept in – his personality as a happily-married family man, with a fun sense of humour, I’m confident will shine through.
Not that I imagine a kangaroo penis or koala liver will be right up his ally on the old food stakes – and he will miss playing golf for a week or two – the bandit!
So, sit back and enjoy watching him on ‘I’m A Celeb’.
I’m sure football fans will look forward to putting him up for some of the ghastly Bushtucker Trials!
I will certainly be glued.
He can’t be as bonkers as Bullard, surely . . . Or can he?
The first epsiode of I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here is on Sunday night at 9pm.
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