Newly crowned Player of the Year in England Riyad Mahrez once ran away from a trial with St Mirren. Mahrez, who disliked the Scottish weather, borrowed a bike in order to catch a flight back home to France.
The Algerian, now only one win with Leicester away from lifting the English Premiership trophy, was at the Paisley club for two months as a teenager.
Mahrez, speaking to L’Equipe, recalled his time at the Paisley club frostily, saying that “It was physical and it was cold. We trained in the snow! I felt that I progressed, I wasn’t allowed to go so I left in secret.”
His short-lived time at St Mirren ended when Mahrez stole a bike so he could get to Paisley station.
“I borrowed a bike so I could get my things I had left at the training ground, before catching a train to the airport and going home,” the Leicester City winger told the French newspaper.
After many clubs turned the tricky winger away, claiming that he was too frail to make it in the game, the death of his father, who passed away when Mahrez was only 15, gave Mahrez the determination to go to Scotland.
After departing St Mirren for warmer climes, Mahrez was eventually signed by French second division club Le Havre after a period of time at amateur club Quimper, before joining Leicester in 2014.
His time at St Mirren and his experience of Scottish climates may have stopped the deal in its tracks, with Mahrez reluctant to move back to the UK. “I always had a bad image of England, they always said to me ‘It’s not for you, Spain is for you,’ so therefore I said no, but they insisted.”