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When Sean Dyche arrived at Watford three years ago, he was expecting Alec Chamberlain to be "a bit barmy". How wrong he was proved to be.
"It was nothing personal," explained Sean, this season's club captain. "But every goalkeeper I'd played with was slightly mental, so you just assume they're all like that. There's a saying in football that you have to be mad to play in goal, but Alec's definitely an exception to the rule. He's one of the nicest, most normal, guys I've met."
Indeed, Sean and Alec have become great friends over the past three years, a friendship developed as they drive down to Watford and back from their homes in Northampton.
"I have a lot to thank Alec for," said Sean. "He gets me into training every day, and what's more we're never late, despite negotiating the M1 every day. You see, Alec's a ready made Sat Nav, he knows all the roads inside out, so if we ever get stuck in traffic queues, then Alec knows all the shortcuts. He's saved me a fortune in possible fines!"
Friendships are often developed around respect, and Sean holds Alec in the highest esteem.
"He's been in the game so long, and that's a credit to him - and the fact that he's still more than capable of holding a place in the first team at 40 proves how consistent he is, and how well he's looked after himself over the years.
"He's a great pro, and a terrific guy, but he has a tough inner spirit that's kept him going," said Sean. "Look how he's bounced back from adversity, even during his career at Watford - for instance, when Graham Taylor signed Espen Bardsen, but Alec took it in his stride, bounced back and became Player of the Year.
"And even last year, when Lenny Pidgeley kept him out the team, Alec took it on the chin, knuckled down and duly won his place back - indeed, he came back into the team and played a big role in helping us shrug off the threat of relegation.
"He's nobody's fool, he knows exactly what the script is, and he has a tough inner spirit.you've got to have to survive in the game as long as Alec has."
Like Alec, Sean's love of sport is wide and varied, but he admits he doesn't share his mate's love of cricket!
"Alec loves his cricket, and of course, he could have made a career out of it," said Sean. "But I must admit, cricket is one sport in which I don't share his enthusiasm, and I must confess, when he starts talking about it in the car I tend to switch off. Sorry Al' nothing personal!"
But Sean most certainly won't be switching off during Alec's testimonial year.
"He thoroughly deserves this honour, and everyone at the club is fully committed to helping Alec have a terrific year - and I know the supporters are equally as enthusiastic.
"He's a guy who has lots of friends, and he's very popular. He doesn't crave attention, but he attracts it because everybody respects him so much, who he is and what he's done. And will be reflected over the coming year with the enthusiasm everyone will give to his testimonial year."
Written by Peter Jones, of the PR consultancy Red Alert Media.