‘I smoked 20 fags a day’ – Ex-England international tells all about early years of Three Lions career

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Former England goalkeeper David James has revealed that he used to smoke 20 cigarettes and heavily drink at the start of his Three Lions career.

James, whose England career began way back in 1997, was between the sticks for the Three Lions during their ‘golden generation’ in the 2000s.

Speaking on The Harry Redknapp Show, he has offered some insight into why it’s been 55 years since England ever managed to win a major tournament.

The former Liverpool goalkeeper has revealed that, at the start of his England career, he was smoking 20 cigarettes a day, which isn’t ordinarily associated with the diet of an athlete.

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David James was England number one during the country’s ‘golden generation’

James revealed, speaking on The Harry Redknapp Show:

“Peter Taylor was the first one to take me for a warm up. It was weird: ‘we are going to go out for a warm up.’ He put me through my paces”

“I thought – ‘hang on a minute. I’m knackered.’ The fact that I smoked 20 fags a day didn’t help.”

James continued, telling all on The Harry Redknapp Show:

“We used to have The Queen Vic, which was Ince’s room. We’d go in The Queen Vic each night – drink beers – play computer games and smoke fags.”

“Not everyone – but whoever wanted a drink could have a drink and whoever wanted a smoke.”

“It was a communal space. Really, really good.”

David James went on to make 53 appearances for the England National Team

Many long for the old school nature of England’s past, but the reality is those practices are not suitable in modern football. Cigarettes as a whole are a complete and utter no-go.

Still, it’s impressive that James achieved what he did with only half-functioning lungs – he can take pride in that.

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