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Last Updated: Wednesday, 21 December 2005, 16:00 GMT
Jason Roberts column
Wigan striker Jason Roberts
By Jason Roberts
Wigan striker

Since I became a professional footballer, I've never had a normal Christmas.

I know most people have some drinks and let themselves go a bit, but not us.

Wigan players celebrate - but where will their 20 be going this Christmas?
You could say we're a tight lot at Wigan - we must still be on lower division wages!

If anything, we have to be even more careful than normal - after all, Wigan have got four games in seven days from Boxing Day onwards.

I won't be going out, I won't have an alcoholic drink and I will have to be sensible with how much turkey I eat too.

So while you guys are enjoying yourselves, think of me and my quiet nights in.

To be fair, if I thought I could get away with going out the night before a game I would, but I'd be so rubbish at football I'd never get away with it!

I'll have my mum, my brothers and my sister staying at mine for Christmas and I'm really looking forward to spending some time with them.

I'll go in for training on Christmas Day and when I come back mum will have the food on the table and we'll have a pretty normal day from then on, watching bad films and chilling out.

The training in the middle of the day does mess it up a bit, but there are worse things to do.

I'm lucky we're playing at home this year - when you have to play away and travel somewhere on Christmas Day it is absolute murder.

I believe we should have a Christmas break like a lot of countries in Europe do, but I'm not sure it will ever happen.

The culture in England is to watch games on Boxing Day and around Christmas and people love it, grounds usually sell out and I can't see fans being too happy if it changed.

I'm not one for expensive gifts, I just want to spend some time with my family

As for parties, we haven't had a Christmas one at Wigan this year. The gaffer asked us to knock it on the head, at least until the end of the season.

It's just one of those things now we're in the Premiership I guess.

I have had some good ones before though. I can tell you it's pretty funny when you are walking down the street with some of your team-mates dressed as cartoon characters.

When I was at Wolves a few years ago we all went dressed as Elvis - that was my first Christmas party and it was brilliant.

But now, we just have a be a little bit more careful about things we do as Premiership footballers are in the media spotlight.

We are doing a secret Santa though - I'd love to tell you who I picked out of the hat but I don't want to ruin the surprise.

We're spending 20 on each other - I guess you could say we're a pretty tight lot at Wigan, I think we must still be on lower-division wages!

I'm not really one for big presents at Christmas, for me it's just a lot more important to spend time with my family instead of splashing out loads on expensive gifts.

As for the football, people talk about this time of year being make-or-break, but I don't see it like that for us at the moment.

If we were sitting lower down the table, maybe, but we've got to back ourselves now we have 28 points on the board so early on in the season.

  • Read Jason Roberts' midweek column on the BBC Sport website every week


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