David Batty remains a cult figure with Newcastle United supporters and ChronicleLive caught up with his agent and those who worked with him during his spell at St James' Park
Ever hear the one about David Batty becoming a Superbike champion under a fake name after retiring? Or how he ended up living in a caravan in Filey? Or what about the former Newcastle United midfielder's stint as a master butcher?
Curious supporters have long wondered what happened to the Yorkshireman after he hung up his boots in 2004 and these rumours have taken on a life of their own.
Aside from the odd public appearance - Batty played in a celebrity game at St James' Park in 2006 and laid a wreath in memory of Gary Speed, his dear late friend, at Elland Road five years later - the 51-year-old has tended to keep a low profile.
Les Ferdinand has not seen his former Newcastle and England team-mate since they retired but even the Magpies' great had 'heard rumours that he goes on the Superbike circuit and stays overnight and camps out'. In actual fact, Batty is simply enjoying a low-key retirement with his family in Yorkshire.
Hayden Evans, Batty's friend and agent, admits the former midfielder 'can't get his head around' the fact that he remains such a cult figure all these years later.
"If it was a choice between not playing and playing Sunday league, David would go play Sunday league so we knew that as soon as his career was going to come to an end, no way was he going to go into coaching or be one of these 'legends' who show the corporates around and all that stuff," Evans told ChronicleLive.
"It was not for him. The minute he stopped playing, he was out of football. That was it. He planned his future. He knew financially and every other way what he was going to do and how he was going to do it.
"He just wanted to spend time with his family. He didn't want a job or a career or anything. He wanted to spend all of his time with his family and that's literally what he's done. Nothing other than that. He loved it as a player and he's loving his life after so it can't get better than that, really, can it?"
Batty did not uproot his wife, Mandy, and their kids after he left Leeds for Blackburn in 1993 or when he completed his £3.75m move to Newcastle three years later.
While Batty stayed over in the Gosforth Park Hotel on the eve of games, the midfielder made the journey up and down the A1 most days during his time on Tyneside.
Batty's speedy exits from the club's training base at Maiden Castle remain one of the many reasons why former team-mate Warren Barton 'loved him to death'.
"We would maybe be doing a bit of extra finishing and Batts would be showered, changed into his tracksuit and in his car sticking two fingers up as he was going out of the car park to get home before we even got off the training ground!" Barton told ChronicleLive.
"If he had £10, he would live on £10. He would say he changed his car to diesel so he could save on the petrol money. He was brilliant. That was him."
Batty was not one to stick around for a different kind of session on the Quayside, either, but on his first night at the Gosforth Park, the midfielder was invited out by his new team-mates.
All Batty had on him was an Adidas tracksuit and while nightclubs were not really his thing, the Leeds native went along and soon made an impression with his dry sense of humour.
When the new signing was up and running on the training ground, first-team coach Chris McMenemy was quickly struck by how Batty 'could find a team-mate in any situation'.
"David was one of the best passers I think I've ever seen," McMenemy told ChronicleLive. "In training, he hardly ever gave the ball away and in games, he was very clever in possession and put his foot in as well. He had that little bit of aggression about him that everyone liked.
"He was a really good professional. Literally one of those that came in, wanted to work hard and wanted to play the game a certain way, which was our style of play, and then just go home to his family. He wasn't anything other than that.
"I remember we were sponsored at the time by Rover for the club cars and when the allocation came in, he wasn't bothered at all. He just said, 'Give me the diesel estate. I just want to go up and down to my house as quick as possible'. He was just a pleasure to work with in every sense."
Batty had previously won a First Division title with Leeds in 1992 and the Premier League with Blackburn in 1995 - although he gave his winners' medal to a ballboy because he did not feel he deserved it after missing a large chunk of Rovers' season with a foot injury.
Newcastle were lacking title-winning experience in the dressing room and the Magpies' 12-point lead had been cut to just four points by the time Batty made his debut on a white-hot night against Manchester United in March, 1996.
The black-and-whites lost that game 1-0 and ultimately finished in second place - which led to some critics pointing the finger at Kevin Keegan's mid-season signings.
The team's chemistry had changed but Keegan felt that the only players who could escape criticism from February onwards were Batty and Steve Watson.
Terry McDermott, who assisted Keegan and successor Kenny Dalglish, is still staggered by the idea that Batty was somehow responsible.
"What I get a little bit annoyed about is when people say we didn't win the league because of changing the players and all that," McDermott told ChronicleLive.
"Players like [Tino] Asprilla and Batty came in to enhance us and they were among the two best players for the last two or three months.
"They were brilliant but they were getting stick because people were saying we shouldn't have changed it.
"It wasn't because they didn't play well; the other lads lost a little bit of steam. I don't know why but it happened."
Newcastle, strengthened by the world-record signing of Alan Shearer, went on to hammer the champions 5-0 at St James' Park a few months later - which proved the high point of the Entertainers' era.
Batty's tussle with Nicky Butt remains an iconic moment, as does his battle with Metz midfielder Isaias for that matter, after the pair went head to head on Super Sunday.
Les Ferdinand can still remember the incident clearly - Batty had his hand around Butt's neck at one point - and the former No 9 admits the Yorkshireman would 'tackle a brick wall for you'.
"You always knew at some stage of a game he was going to get himself into a little bit of a tear up," Ferdinand told ChronicleLive.
"If there was a little tear up when I was on the pitch and he was inevitably involved, I would say something to him and he would just have a wry little grin on his face as if to say, 'Well, you know what I do and how I do it'. And that was it."
Batty, who had been immensely proud to captain Newcastle on occasion, later went on to sign a new five-year deal with the Magpies and intended to see out his career at St James' Park.
However, when boyhood club Leeds came calling, in 1998, the midfielder could not resist a second spell at Elland Road.
Tellingly, though, Batty remains a popular figure with Newcastle supporters and Philippe Albert believes the former England international was the perfect blend of 'something special' on the field and a 'gentleman off it'.
"Even when he was playing, he wasn't saying, 'I did this, I did that. I won the league with Leeds and Blackburn,'" Albert told ChronicleLive.
"David never mentioned that and that's why I liked him because sometimes you have players who, when they arrive at the club, they say, 'Who are you?' I've won this'.
"He kept a low profile all the time - even after his career finished - so that's why I have a lot of respect for that kind of man."