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The Ghosts Of Christmas Past Pictures- Football’s Most Awkward Festive Photos Explored

These are ‘The Ghosts Of Christmas Past Pictures… Football’s Most Awkward Festive Photos Explored’ Seeing famous football stars flood their social media with festive images has become somewhat of a modern tradition for millennial football fans. 

The Ghosts Of Christmas Past Pictures- Football’s Most Awkward Festive Photos Explored

However, three decades or so ago, footballers didn’t have the same luxury outlet and had to find other means to spread their Christmas cheer.

Luckily there was always a willing photographer on hand to capture these moments, but unfortunately looking back these pictures – often used in magazines and promotions – they haven’t aged too well for the familiar faces on show.

Sportsmail winds back the Christmas clock and looks back at some of the ghosts of Christmas pictures past.

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The 90s were full of fun photo shoots but maybe a bigger turkey was needed for former Manchester United stars Ryan Giggs, Gary Pallister and Nicky Butt to share

The 90s were full of fun photo shoots but maybe a bigger turkey was needed for former Manchester United stars Ryan Giggs, Gary Pallister and Nicky Butt to share

Sir Alex Ferguson using the technology of the time to wish his players a Merry Christmas

Sir Alex Ferguson using the technology of the time to wish his players a Merry Christmas

Where better to kick-off than the team of the 90s, Manchester United. Right at the height of their pomp in 1996, the likes of Ryan Giggs, Nicky Butt and head turkey carver Gary Pallister showed their fondness for the most wonderful time of the year.

They were joined by boss Alex Ferguson who was caught posing in a Santa hat and possibly discussing tactics with the big man’s elves, whilst holding the most 90s looking telephone you can imagine.

Christmas shoots were nothing new in the 1990s, and going further back you can find images of George Best and Frank Worthington enjoying the festive spirit the only way they knew how. While Billy Bonds posed for a wholesome family snap alongside a cracker that’s almost as big as his offspring.

George Best and Frank Worthington (front row) add a bit of Christmas magic to this party

George Best and Frank Worthington (front row) add a bit of Christmas magic to this party

West Ham legend Billy Bonds shares a cracker that's almost as big as his family around him

West Ham legend Billy Bonds shares a cracker that’s almost as big as his family around him

However, the go-to image for Christmas-themed photos was the obligatory shot of footballers dressed as Santa Claus himself.

Like a scene from the picture board of a Question of Sport Christmas special, players couldn’t resist donning the famous suit and beard and parading themselves across magazines and newspapers.

From the likes of Terry Butcher and Steve Bull in the 1980s, through a wrath of 90s faces like Tony Adams, Andy Cole, David Platt and Kevin Keegan, all paying homage to the man on the season.

A photo of Terry Butcher covered in red that has nothing to do with a blood soaked headband

A photo of Terry Butcher covered in red that has nothing to do with a blood soaked headband

There were never many presents for defenders when Wolves legend Steve Bull was around

There were never many presents for defenders when Wolves legend Steve Bull was around

David Platt made a name for himself at Italia 90 and went on to shine in Serie A during the era

David Platt made a name for himself at Italia 90 and went on to shine in Serie A during the era

Arsenal legend and Strictly Come Dancing star Tony Adams also gets in on the Santa Claus act

Arsenal legend and Strictly Come Dancing star Tony Adams also gets in on the Santa Claus act

Kevin Keegan would LOVE IT if you were to get into the festive spirit this December

Kevin Keegan would LOVE IT if you were to get into the festive spirit this December

The only kind of 'Cole' you would want to see at Christmas was Manchester United striker Andy

The only kind of ‘Cole’ you would want to see at Christmas was Manchester United striker Andy

Only Paolo Di Canio could make being Santa Claus look as cool as he did in this suit

Only Paolo Di Canio could make being Santa Claus look as cool as he did in this suit

Even Italian maverick Paolo Di Canio got in the act, as he presented his best impression of ‘Babbo Natale’ in his own unique style. Although the prize for the most ‘fashionable’ festive photo goes to 80s poster boy ‘Champagne’ Charlie Nicolas. Who chose a timeless leather jacket for his pose with a frightening looking Santa toy.

It’s certainly more festive than sight of Colombian star Carlos Valderrama’s lone Santa hat as he helped the November mid-nineties launch of MLS side Miami Fusion – in bright sunshine.

When it comes to the 90s though, there isn’t anyone who embodies the decade more than Paul Gascoigne – and he wasn’t exempt from a festive photo. The most famous of which came alongside partner in crime, Chris Waddle, and a Christmas pudding assist.

Charlie Nicolas looking every bit the poster player of the 1980s in this strange festive shoot

Charlie Nicolas looking every bit the poster player of the 1980s in this strange festive shoot

The Ghosts Of Christmas Past Pictures... Football's Most Awkward Festive Photos Explored
The familiar looking image of Carols Valderrama with the added festive bonus of a Santa hat

The familiar looking image of Carols Valderrama with the added festive bonus of a Santa hat

The Ghosts Of Christmas Past Pictures... Football's Most Awkward Festive Photos Explored
Chris Waddle and Paul Gascoigne were a double act whatever the season for club and country

Chris Waddle and Paul Gascoigne were a double act whatever the season for club and country

One the traditions from the era that has continued and delightfully so, is club’s visits to children’s hospitals during the holidays. This heart-warming gesture has thrown up another category of these festive pics.

Whether it’s Tony Adams and Frank Leboeuf putting London rivalries aside to pull crackers with Davina McCall or a young Cristiano Ronaldo looking like the coolest deliverer of presents Christmas has ever seen.

Ronaldo brings the look back to a more modern ending, where these photoshoots are rare. However, full Christmas props to Arsenal’s squad of 2014, for reviving the festiveness to sell the clubs newest range of Christmas jumpers. Showing at this time of the year, traditions do always live on.

The Ghosts Of Christmas Past Pictures... Football's Most Awkward Festive Photos Explored
Frank LaBouef pulls a cracker with Davina McCall with Tony Adams in the background

Frank LaBouef pulls a cracker with Davina McCall with Tony Adams in the background

The Ghosts Of Christmas Past Pictures- Football's Most Awkward Festive Photos Explored
A young Cristiano Ronaldo isn’t letting a Santa hat get anywhere near his pristine hairstyle

A young Cristiano Ronaldo isn’t letting a Santa hat get anywhere near his pristine hairstyle

The Ghosts Of Christmas Past Pictures... Football's Most Awkward Festive Photos Explored
One for the Xmas mantlepiece from 2014 Arsenal

The Ghosts Of Christmas Past Pictures- Football's Most Awkward Festive Photos Explored
Alexis Sanchez with the classic oversized jumper

Arsenal took a leaf out of the classic Christmas photos to promote their jumper range

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