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'I used to be wary of prankster Bale', says former team-mate Theo Walcott

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Arsenal star Theo Walcott admits that he used to be scared of Real Madrid star because of the pranks he played on him during their time together at Southampton.

Walcott, who is set to play against Swansea later today, came through Southampton’s youth academy alongside Bale and used to room with the Wales international until Walcott left for Arsenal in 2006.

25-year-old Bale signed for Madrid in a world record £86m deal last summer, and Walcott revealed that he enjoyed being around the ex-Spurs man during their time with Saints.

“I roomed with Gareth and shared digs with him right up to the day I moved to Arsenal,” Walcott said.

“He was good company but you were always grateful to if you got back to your room unscathed when Gareth was around as he was a bit of a prankster.

“I had to be wary. He would do stunts like putting water on top of your door to try and soak you as you walked in, and silly things like that.”

Speedy England international Walcott also revealed he had the option to join Chelsea when he was a youngster, but rejected the chance because he found Stamford Bridge ‘daunting’.

“It was the family nature of Southampton that made me turn down Chelsea as a kid. Stamford Bridge was daunting”, Walcott said.

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