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How Wise introduced ex-Chelsea teammate Zola to English culture

Former Chelsea captain Dennis Wise has revealed how one of his pranks saw West Ham United boss Gianfranco Zola "go beserk".

Zola, soon after arriving at Stamford Bridge, began reading his first book in English.

It was John Le Carre's The Spy Who Came In From The Cold and the Sardinian loved every page.

There was only one problem, though The ending was strange, somehow out of place with what had gone before in the book.

Zola was at first perplexed and then despondent. He blamed himself for not understanding the full meaning of the words. Maybe, he just hadn't mastered the language quite as well as he thought. Irritated, he put down the book.

"Good book, 'Franco?" asked Wise one day. "Yes, yes, very good," came the answer.

"Good ending?" Persisted Wise. "Er, yes," answered Zola.

A month later Wise handed Zola something. "This is yours," he said, before walking away. A puzzled Zola looked at the pages of print for some time before the penny dropped.

It was the final chapter of the book. Wise had, very carefully, torn it out.

"He went berserk," recalled Wise to the London Evening Standard. "He wasn't happy."

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Tribal Football Staff

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