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Burnley manager Sean Dyche seems like the kind of guy who would munch on a big bowl of tree bark, rocks, and beetles for breakfast every morning and make a big show of it if for no other reason than to prove how much of a hardass he is. Thus it wasn’t too much of a stretch to believe a former teammate of his, Søren Andersen, who recently said Dyche used to eat worms at practice. Dyche has finally responded to these claims by denying Andersen’s accusation, clarifying that he doesn’t actually eat worms, he just likes to suck on them for laughs.

Andersen appeared on the Danish podcast Fodboldministeriet last month, and during the conversation the topic of his old Bristol City teammate Dyche came up—specifically something about the Englishman’s trademark gravelly voice. Andersen gave his novel explanation for why Dyche sounds the way he sounds, which involved an odd tick the Dane noticed from back in their playing days. From the Telegraph:

“He had exactly the same voice. Maybe the voice comes from eating rainworms (Danish term for earthworms), because every time we trained, he used to eat rainworms.”

“Yes, he did. It was horrible, I’ve never experienced anything like it. It was like: ‘whoops, there’s a rainworm’ and then he ate it.

“It was a bit disgusting and very strange. He was a good player, and I enjoyed being around him, but the thing with the worms was really strange.

“There was always these worms around. And everybody always commented on it as being disgusting and complained a bit.

“So I think maybe it was as a kind of a provocation, and to show us that it wasn’t something, we should focus on or care about, he just ate one or two.”

Again, a surprisingly plausible personality quirk when it comes to the infamously gruff and stern Dyche, but maybe not something to run with without confirmation. Thankfully, someone in the British press asked Dyche about it today, and he set the record straight—though his response doesn’t quite exonerate him:

So ... he doesn’t eat worms. Just plucks them out of the mud, sticks it in his mouth, pretends to gnaw on them for a good while, and then spits it out and washes his mouth out with water. Uh, glad he cleared that one up.