Blackburn icon Tugay smoked 20 times a day and even hid in toilets at half time

Tugay had a fabulous career that ended with an eight-year stint at Blackburn Rovers, as former Galatasaray boss Graeme Souness brought the Turkish international to Ewood Park for £1.3million in 2001.

The midfielder made 233 league appearances for Blackburn before retiring in 2009, and former teammate Robbie Savage admitted that Tugay was "one of the best".

Despite starring in midfield up until the age of 38, it has been revealed that Tugay was a heavy smoker, and would even smoke during the half-time interval of Premier League games.

Although heavily frowned upon, Tugay was that good that his habit was accepted by Blackburn bosses as he continued to perform.

Tugay's former Blackburn teammate Matt Jensen revealed: "He would smell of tobacco in the dressing room beforehand. Then he would run the show for 45 minutes. Then he would be smoking again at half-time.

"I remember Graeme Souness looking around a dressing-room at half-time and saying, ‘Where’s Tugay?’ We all looked over to the toilets and there were rings of smoke coming out of the top of the cubicle."

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Savage rated Tugay so highly, as he admitted: "He could have played for any team in the world, in my opinion. He was unbelievable, even at 37 or 38 in the Premier League, he was still brilliant."

Another one of Tugay's former manager's was Mark Hughes, and he agreed with Savage, and also confirmed that his smoking habits lasted long beyond Souness's reign.

Hughes said: "Best I’ve managed, best I’ve played against, probably in my top three, I rated him that highly. A real character, always liked a fag at half-time. A great guy.”

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