Kevin Nolan recalls the moment Sam Allardyce grabbed him by the ear and slammed him against a wall as a youth player at Bolton

Kevin Nolan and Sam Allardyce followed each other throughout their careers, but almost had a falling out early on.

Allardyce ended up recruiting Nolan twice during his career, once to Newcastle and then to West Ham, where the midfielder remains manager to this day.

Nolan attended Bolton’s academy and became a club legend
9) Sam Allardyce: 357 matches played to reach 100 Premier League clean sheets – click the arrow to see which manager achieved the feat in the fastest time
Allardyce is revered as a hero at Bolton after a good spell there

But the pair actually began their relationship at Bolton when Nolan was a teenager and a promising talent while Allardyce arrived as manager to replace Colin Todd.

At first, Nolan knew right away that he would get along well with his new boss.

However, there was a day when Allardyce slammed the Liverpool-born starlet against the wall after becoming angry at the player’s efforts during a training session.

In a lengthy chat with Andy Goldstein and Darren Bent on talkSPORT Drive, Nolan revealed all about a classic story about Big Sam.

He said live on air: “Sam had chosen his XI (for the weekend) and I obviously wasn’t in the XI. I was 19, maybe just turned 20.

“So I remember thinking, ‘I’m not going to have that, I’m going to see it.’ I’m mad.

“And I trained like that, a little lethargic, and you think you got away with it.

“That’s why Sam was so good because he gave him one, so I’m like, ‘I’m mad.’ He’s like, ‘Kev, come see me at the office in a minute.

nolan laugh
Nolan spoke about the moment Allardyce slammed him against the wall
kevin nolan west ham walks 844755528
Nolan and Allardyce got along well throughout their careers – except once

“I was like, ‘Yeah, yeah,’ but I was like, ‘Yeah, I’ll do it.’ I was coming anyway. I’m definitely coming to see you.

“So I knocked on his door and walked in and literally before I could even sit down, he jumped up, grabbed me by the ear and slammed me against the wall.

“He said, ‘If you EVER do that again in one of my workouts, you’ll know.’

“And I just said ‘yes, I just came to say sorry, goof!'”

As history would prove, the matter was settled there and then and Nolan became a key player at the Reebok Stadium for Bolton.

He even took the captain’s armband off legendary player Jay-Jay Okocha and made 345 appearances for the Wanderers.

Allardyce, meanwhile, is still renowned for his managerial acumen having saved Blackburn, Everton and Crystal Palace from relegation.

However, his reputation as a firefighting manager has dimmed after being relegated with West Brom and Leeds in his last two roles, even though the Whites were in dire straits by the time he took over earlier this year.

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