We’ve all had a clash of dates where we’ve had to cancel something we really wanted to do in order to attend a friend’s pre-wedding bash. But what if you’re a professional sportsman? What does it take for you to say “no” to the stag do and “yes” to hours of gruelling training? Or do you go the other way and forsake your sporting duty in the name of beery good times at the expense of your team mates?
Here’s a look at what happens when the wedding day and sporting action collides.
And if you’re lucky enough to be planning a stag do of your own, make sure you head over to StagWeb to see an epic collection of activities, nightlife and accommodation for your pre-wedding bash.
We’ve all snuck into work the night after a serious bender but Adam Lallana played it straight and even skipped his own £50,000 Miami stag do in 2014 to train for that year’s World Cup.
He even picked up the tab as his mates partied without him at a five-star villa. He probably wished he’s stuck with the stags as England went on to record their worst ever World Cup finals performance.
ROO THE DAY
When England missed out on Euro 2008 the whole nation breathed a collective sigh of defeat and disappointment… But not Peter Crouch. He even opted to miss fellow England ace Wayne Rooney’s stag do to spend the summer on some beach in the Caribbean with then-girlfriend Abbey Clancy.
Fair play, if we had to choose between laying on the beach with gorgeous Abbey or going paintballing with Wazza it’s no contest!
A ROYAL MESS-UP
When Irish Rugby legend Brian O’Driscoll got his invite to the wedding of William and Kate we’re sure he was ecstatic… Right up until the moment he realised he needed to play for Leinster in the semi-final of the Heineken Cup.
He was even quoted as saying “Rugby takes precedence over everything” showing true dedication and exactly why he’s one of Ireland’s all-time sporting greats. He didn’t even get any wedding cake!
Norwich City’s long-time keeper John Ruddy wasn’t expecting a Euro 2012 call-up but when it came it probably caused wild celebrations right up until he realised training clashed with the stag do and wedding which were already booked.
His understanding manager let him skip the friendly against Belgium to tie the knot, but the planned Portugal stag do got the red card. Ruddy gave it a miss to attend training and the stags went on without him.
Another victim of the 2014 World Cup; Rob Elliot was called up for Ireland and had to miss his own pre-wedding weekend in Las Vegas. It must’ve been even more frustrating as a year before the tournament (when Elliot planned the stag do) he’d not even been capped. “You can’t put a price on international football” said Elliot but even so his wallet must’ve felt the pain of paying for a stag party he never even attended (although Roy Keane did threaten to shave his eyebrows!).
CONSIDINE CAN BOOGIE
Dons fans amongst you will usually recognise hard-man left back Andrew Considine in an Aberdeen shirt but when he “donned” the clothes of a woman on his stag do to dance to Baccara’s smash hit “Yes Sir, I Can Boogie” he was almost unrecognisable. Luckily someone found the video and uploaded it to YouTube for all the world to see…
A LEAGUE OF HIS OWN
US TV personality, Gavin and Stacey star and lifelong West Ham fan James Corden celebrated his stag do with a kickabout on the hallowed turf of Upton Park. He was blindfolded by his stag party (including Jamie Redknapp, Dominic Cooper, Jimmy Carr, Jack Whitehall and John Bishop) before a grand unveiling where even Hammers legend Mark Noble was present.
A ROYAL STITCH UP
Paul Gorrie was on “just another stag do” when the lifelong Manchester United fan stitched up by his friends to act as a match day mascot for Mansfield Town… In front of a 6,357 strong crowd.
To be fair he didn’t shy away from the role (despite the other child mascots barely coming up to his waist) and even took part in a kick about with the kids before doing his proud duty as his best mates laughed it up in the stands.
ACE BEST MAN
Teetotal Andy Murray isn’t the greatest best man on paper, but he really delivered when organising his brother Jamie’s pre-wedding bash; booking a superhero-themed bash in Mayfair’s Whisky Mist party spot. He even sorted a “Batman” show where four dancers donned Joker masks and a waiter dressed as the Dark Knight himself to bring out ten bottles of Dom Perignon… Consider yourself stitched up Jamie!
Freddie Flintoff has never been one to shy away from a party (after all, this is the man who commandeered a pedalo in an attempt to “sail home” during the 2007 Cricket World Cup) so you can imagine his stag do was a proper ‘Phil Tufnell’ of a knees up.
Not only did England’s prized bowlers practice their throwing skills during a massive food fight but the grooms’ mates followed this up by shaving his head in a style Freddie later described as “like him off The Prodigy” … Oops.
Having already cancelled his wedding once for an England game, Jamie Vardy was ‘excused PE’ by Roy Hodgson in a pre-tournament friendly against Australia to tie the knot. Not a bad result for a player who rose from non-league player to Premier League champion with Leicester City.
VIVA LAS VEGAS
Another victim of the unfortunate timing of Euro 2016 was Scottish striker Ross McCormack. Despite not qualifying for the tournament, McCormack’s Vegas stag weekend was curtailed by a surprise call-up for Scotland’s pre-tournament friendlies against Denmark and the Czech Republic… However, once again his loyal stags still went and as Ross put it himself “I’m scared to look at my phone!”.
To out-do these sporting greats and start planning your own pre-wedding weekend, head over to StagWeb and get the party started today!