Burnley boss Sean Dyche: I don't eat worms, I eat gravel and car exhausts
In what surely must be a first, a Premier League manager has been forced to categorically scotch rumours that he eats earthworms.
That manager is Sean Dyche who, it was claimed earlier this week, regularly used to swallow worms during his playing days.
The accusations were made by former Bristol City teammate Soren Andersen while discussing Dyche's gravelly voice on a Danish podcast.
"Maybe the voice comes from eating earthworms, because every time we trained, he used to eat worms," Anderson told Fodboldministeriet.
The question was put to Dyche during his weekly news conference, with the Clarets boss issuing a succinct and abrupt denial that he actually ate the worms in question -- he simply put them in his mouth for his own amusement.
"It's fair to say I didn't actually eat the worms. It was a bit of banter I used to have -- I've done it here and Watford too -- that you get a nice, big juicy worm hanging out of your mouth," Dyche said.
"It wobbles, wriggling around. Look as if you're chewing it and then spit it out. Soren has probably taken it a bit too far. He's a good lad."
The 46-year-old went onto add that he maintains his famously dulcet tones by "smoking car exhaust pipes" and "eating gravel for breakfast".
Sounds perfectly plausible to us.
Chris covers the funny side of the game for ESPN FC in the Toe Poke blog.