Michael Carrick has explained the Manchester United team-bonding exercise which earned him the nickname ‘Havoc’ among his team-mates.
The Old Trafford midfielder was speaking to Graham Hunter on his The Big Interview podcast when he explained the alias.
It was revealed by Darren Fletcher in one of the earlier editions of the podcast that Carrick also went by the name ‘Havoc’, but so far there had been no explanation for United fans as to why that was.
Now the English international has explained it – and told how a PlayStation Portable (PSP) game called SOCOM entertained over half of the United squad for around three years while travelling.
According to Carrick, playing the game along with his team-mates helped bring them closer together and develop a better bond while making their way to matches.
And he also told how Fletcher – who now plays for West Brom – goes by the name of ‘Haywire’.
Speaking to Hunter, Carrick said: “We had the PSPs – which were little handheld PlayStations a few years back – and there was a game called SOCOM. It was a bit of an army game, but it was the only game you could play against each other. You could get 8 v 8 just playing against each other. A lot of other games you’d go and do missions and that type of thing, but the boys found a game so we could all play together.
“So you’d flick the button and it would be all wireless and we could all connect to the same bit. So we’d be sitting on the coach, or sitting on the train or flying to Champions League games and we’d flick them on and, a lot of the time, we’d be getting 6 v 6 or 7 v 7 – so that’s pretty much two thirds of the squad playing the game.
“It’s not everyone’s cup of tea so a few lads didn’t play it, but straight away there was just a togetherness and a spirit. So obviously we all had names and there were a wide variety of names. We’ll keep a couple secret. And mine was Havoc, I don’t know where it came from. It sounds a little thing, but literally every time we went on a coach or a train, whether it was half an hour or three hours, the game would get played and we would be into it.
“In hotels, it was even known to whoever had rooms next to each other, one team would go in one room and one team in the other room and if it worked through the wall, we’d play against each other.
“That was it, a simple concept. That was probably 2006 to 2009 when we played that for about three of four years then we sort of grew out of it. But it just created a real spirit.
“That’s from young lads coming into the squad, 18 or 19-year-olds, straight away they were in. It was something to talk about, have a laugh about and give them stick about. It was a massive thing for us in the dressing room.”
It’s a bizarre, but brilliant, example of what teams do to pass the time while travelling on the road to big matches.
Carrick also spoke about the beginning of his career, playing under Harry Redknapp, sharing a dressing room with Paolo Di Canio, winning the Champions League against Chelsea in 2008 and going up against some of English football’s greatest players in the fascinating Big Interview with Hunter.
You can listen to the full chat right HERE.