Footballers' Christmas Parties (PICTURES)

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Christmas is fast approaching, which means us media folk keep our eyes peeled for pictures dropping of footballers enjoying a rare night out on the tiles in the party season.

Typically, what with being footballers and all, controversy isn't far away. West Ham United defender Neil Ruddock appeared at Havering Magistrates' Court after allegedly attacking a car belonging to a teenage beauty therapist after the club's Christmas party in 1998. And nine years later, Manchester United's promising defender Jonny Evans was arrested for alleged rape during the club's infamous do. Players' wives and girlfriends were banned from the bash, with reports of women being "hand-picked" to attend. Evans, then 19, was cleared of any wrongdoing.

But away from the uglier festive frolics, here's some goodwill courtesy of Bestive, Greavsie, Hughsey and others without generic but loveable nicknames...

Footballers' Christmas Parties
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