‘I went for him’ - Jermaine Defoe unveils furious West Ham scuffle with close pal while at Sunderland

Jermaine Defoe was a class act on and off the pitch but admitted he wasn’t always so composed in the changing room when at Sunderland.

Watch more of our videos on Shots!
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

Sunderland hero Jermaine Defoe has spilt the beans on a furious changing room spat with a former Black Cats colleague while playing for the club.

The striker enjoyed two stints in the North East towards the end of his career, making 100 appearances in total and scoring 37 goals for Sunderland. Defoe was prolific for the side in the Premier League and won Player of the Season in 2016.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

During that time, the England international cemented himself as a fan favourite on Wearside, just as much for his classy off-the-pitch actions with terminally ill Sunderland supporter Bradley Lowery as his performances on the turf.

However, Defoe has admitted that he wasn't always the classy and calm star that some fans may have believed in a tell-all podcast with fellow striker Troy Deeney.

Speaking on Defoe & Deeney's Football Firsts, the ex-Spurs and Pompey man was asked about any fall-outs during his career and one of the most high profile that came to mind was a spat while playing at Sunderland.

The fellow player involved in the altercation was charismatic full-back Patrick van Aanholt, who was on the books at the Stadium of Light between 2014 and 2017.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Defoe said: "With a teammate, I loved him as well, Patrick van Aanholt. Left-back at Sunderland, we didn't come to blows but we were playing against West Ham away.

"He was so good going forward. He got the ball on the left-hand side and he's come inside the pitch, 24 yards out, on his right foot. I've made a darting run, thought you have to either pass to me or play it to someone. You're not going to shoot with your weaker foot from there.

Jermaine Defoe admitted he ‘loved’ playing with Patrick van Aanholt (Image: Getty Images)Jermaine Defoe admitted he ‘loved’ playing with Patrick van Aanholt (Image: Getty Images)
Jermaine Defoe admitted he ‘loved’ playing with Patrick van Aanholt (Image: Getty Images)

"He shot and I lost my head. It was a hot day. I turned around to him and said, 'Are you winding me up? You're not going to score from there'. His reaction, he said 'shut up'."

The fall-out didn't stop at an exchange of words either. Defoe continued the story and told of how it turned physical as soon as he got down the tunnel.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

He added: "The halftime whistle has gone, he's gone in first, I've gone in, talked my top off and just went for him. I saw red. I don't normally do that.

"I think Lamine Kone picked me up like a little kid and I was just raging. I calmed down quick, I thought I'm a senior player, vice-captain and that."