My faith in footballers was restored this week when the Hearts boys sent me evidence of Andy Halliday having a nightmare both on and off the pitch. Not the sort of evidence that has been used against my old team-mate Del Lyle in the past, but more lighthearted stuff that I love to see. It was a video of him losing the ball by completely missing it. The only thing he’s losing more than the ball is his hair and this was also shown in a pic that was shortly sent to me after the video.

These were sent by a player who will remain nameless due to his fear of revenge, because he was witness to Andy stitching up Alan McGregor while drunk at a bar in Tenerife. Alan fell asleep so Andy got a picture of a guy who looked similar to McGregor with his Henry Halls hanging out. He then switched his number with Walter Smith’s number in his phone.

When he woke up, Andy told him that the picture was on Sky Sports. Alan started freaking out, looking at his phone only to see a text from Walter Smith saying he’d also seen the picture on Sky and asked what he was thinking. With the big man all over the place, the boys burst into tears when Andy texted him again saying Walter was in Tenerife and he wanted to take the keeper for half volleys the next day.

It will be interesting to see what Andy does if he finds out. Either way, it looks as if Hearts have a great dressing room and making Craig Halkett captain is an inspired decision. I thought stitching up team mates had completely gone from football so I’m delighted to hear that it’s still going on at Tynecastle. That banter and spirit in the dressing room, along with a fantastic squad for that level, should see them breeze the Championship. Although Andy will hope the breeze isn’t too strong as there’s a good chance it could take his hair off for good.

Stitching up my teammates was my favourite part of being in a team. I’ve done it throughout my career, not only off the pitch with prank phone calls and wind-ups, but also on it when I regularly stitch them up with my questionable passing ability.

I moved down to Swindon into the most ruthless dressing room you could ever imagine. On your first day, a lookalike was pinned on your locker while you were at training. I came back after my first session with a full-length picture of Mrs Doubtfire looking back at me. As if that wasn’t bad enough, they had drawn her nose even bigger with a permanent marker.

I was desperate to make friends and picked the biggest character in the dressing room. Billy Paynter was a mad scouser whose patter was as sharp as his pointy nose. I was going to stay with my old mate Scott Cuthbert. My first week, Billy comes up to me in the dressing room. “Hey lad, has Big Scotty gave you a key for his gaff yet?”

“Na mate, not yet how come?”

“Get one off him then say you need it, because we will be out every Saturday night and Scotty prefers sitting in with the X factor.”

I managed to convince Scotty to give me a key. The next day I couldn’t wait to tell Billy I had done it. I didn’t even get a word out before Billy grabbed the key out my hand and ran to his car. I was baffled before he returns to tell me he’s had a key cut and from now he’s going terrorise the big man.

For the next month Billy would leave training early every day and drive to our house. He would use the key to get in and would start with subtle things like moving a piece of furniture or pouring all the milk out and putting the empty carton back in the fridge.

One day Billy left something in Scotty’s en suite and I could hear the big man yell in disgust at the smell coming from his bathroom. Scotty was so baffled and would regularly say that he was sure someone had been in the house. I had to stop myself from laughing as he would double check every window in a three storey town house most mornings before leaving for training. I would go back and report all this to the boys who couldn’t wait to hear about Scotty’s latest reaction.

It all came to a head when we were returning home from a trip to Glasgow. Billy had been texting me asking when we were getting in as it was late at night. Billy had a wife and two kids but this seemed to be his number one priority on a Sunday night. We walked in the house and Billy and two of other boys jumped out in balaclavas. Scotty punched a hole in the living room wall with anger. Once we had all stopped laughing the full thing was explained. I got the cold shoulder from the big man and had to pay the bill for the hole in the wall.

We finished third that season, and while we were a decent team, I put it all down to the spirit in the dressing room. If it takes a hole in the living room wall and a smelly en suite I’m sure Hearts would happily accept the same to get back into the Premiership.