CHRISTMAS is not what it used to be like for Wanderers striker Jermaine Beckford but you will not find him complaining.

A latecomer to the professional game, Beckford played part-time until the age of 22 and worked as a car windscreen fitter at the same time.

That meant more time off over the festive season and several days to enjoy the holidays.

When repaired shattered dreams replaced repairing shattered windscreens when he signed full-time for Leeds United in 2006, that all changed.

But Beckford is more than happy to keep putting the festivities on the backburner until he hangs up his boots.

The 30-year-old will train with his Wanderers team-mates on Christmas morning ahead of their trip to Barnsley 24 hours later.

And it will be much the same on New Year’s Eve with Middlesbrough visiting the Reebok for the first Championship clash of 2014 the following day.

Beckford said: “We train on Christmas morning and then I go back home and have a smaller Christmas dinner than everybody else.

“I still get involved in the spirit of it but not to the extent that will happen when I retire. Myself and my family have learnt to adapt to how it is now.

“Obviously it is different to when I wasn’t playing professional football because you could just take a couple of weeks off over Christmas and really get into the festive spirit and enjoy it. But I love playing football so the more games the merrier for me over Christmas.”