Former Bolton player describes hilarious method for tricking Sam Allardyce

Allardyce gave a heart monitor to one of his players, who decided to strap it to his dog instead.

Former Bolton player describes hilarious method for tricking Sam Allardyce

Nick Potts/PA Archive/PA Images

In the 2001/2002 season, then Bolton Wanderers boss Sam Allardyce enlisted 34-year-old Ian Marshall to the squad.

Marshall arrived at a club that was restricted by a tight budget, but under Big Sam, they learned to adapt. Writing in The Guardian, Blair Newman said Allardyce 'led the club to heights not seen since the days when Nat Lofthouse spearheaded their attack.'

Marshall reminisced on his days at Bolton in an interview with The Bolton Newswhere he talked about an amusing story, in which he tricked Allardyce using a heart monitor and his dog.

By his own admission, Marshall was 'not the greatest trainer in the world,' and was out of shape. And when Allardyce handed him a heart monitor to track his fitness levels, he decided to improvise.

"Sam was brilliant with me. I lived in Leicester and it was a couple of hours into Bolton so he’d let me train at home an extra day here or there.

"He was one of the first people in football to really utilise all the medical equipment and one day his physio issued us with a heart monitor.

"He let me take it home then bring in the results later in the week. But as you’ll know, I wasn't dead keen on running. And I had this old dog, called Tess.

"She was about 15 and I worked it out in human terms and reckoned she could handle a run about in the park. It turns out the heart monitor fitted her perfectly.

"When I took the monitor back Sam got me in his office and said the results were a bit off. I told him it must be broke. We went on like this for two weeks. Tess had never been so fit.

"But they caught me in the end. Thankfully Sam saw the funny side but he wouldn't let me have any more days off. You'd never manage that these days – they could probably tell you what type of dog was doing the running for you."