DENNIS Wise is one of football's most notorious hardmen - and Hampshire legend has it that Barry 'Psycho' Blankley taught the cheeky chappy everything he knows.

As player-manager Wise prepares to lead his Millwall lions to Cardiff for the FA Cup final against Manchester United on Saturday, Blankley - boss of Sydenhams Wessex League outfit AFC Totton - will never forget the day he gave an impudent, young Dennis The Menace a bloody nose.

Back in his days as an associate schoolboy with the Saints in the early 80s, Blankley regularly came eyeball to eyeball with Wise in five-a-side training matches at The Dell.

The 39-year-old recalled: "I must have known Wisey for about 25 years.

"I joined Saints as a 14-year-old and Wisey's a couple of years younger than me, but he trained with us before he signed schoolboy forms.

"There used to be a group of local lads called the Hampshire Hogs with people like myself, Ian Baird, Ian Juryeff and Martin Foyle, while Wisey played for the Londoners alongside the likes of Danny Wallace, George Lawrence, Reuben Agboola, Steve Williams and the odd Geordie to make up the numbers.

"Every Friday morning we'd go into The Dell gym and everyone wanted to win.

"Wisey and I both liked to have a tackle and he used to try and wind me up by making comments about my nose, which I've had broken about five times.

"One day he said something about my nose once too often and let's just say that Wisey ended up with his first broken nose that day!"

After a fall-out with Lawrie McMenemy, Wise parted company with Saints, but it proved a blessing in disguise.

The young midfielder ended up as one of Wimbledon's notorious 'Crazy Gang' and helped pull off one of the most famous giant-killings in FA Cup history against Liverpool in the 1988 final.

He went on to become Chelsea's most successful captain, skippering the Blues to FA, Worthington and European Cup Winners' Cup glory in a glittering 11-year stay at Stamford Bridge.

Blankley rarely sees his old Dell mucker these days, but they have never lost touch and had a long chat before Millwall's semi-final triumph over Sunderland at Old Trafford.

Blankley said: "I speak to Wisey every now and then and he always calls me 'Bal'.

"The last time we actually met was when I was when I was at Basingstoke and they played Chelsea in a pre-season friendly.

"I've still got a copy of the Basingstoke fanzine. There's a picture of me with Wisey in the bar and a quote from Dennis saying 'Psycho taught me everything I know!'

"It was the Basingstoke fans who christened me Psycho, but when I was at Aldershot my nickname was Rambo because I tried to take on the opposition all by myself.

"Wisey remembered that and when he turned up at Basingstoke that day he asked if I was playing right-back or left-back because he wanted to play on the other wing!

"As a youngster, Wisey was called Top Cat because his eyes are close together.

"After that he became Dennis the Menace - but he was like that as a 14-year-old. He's always been a lovable rogue with that cheeky grin of his."

Despite his 'bad boy' image, Wisey remains a popular figure with many of his old Dell mates and no one will be happier than Blankley to see him walking out at the Millennium Stadium.

He said: "It's really pleasing to see how well Wisey's done. Even at 14 you could see he had something about him as a player.

"We were good mates in those days and used to go to The Bassett for a drink. On a good day we'd have half a shandy, but normally it was a lime and lemonade.

"A couple of lads down at my local in West End support Chelsea and asked if I could get them autographed photos.

"Dennis said fine, but he'd be in a Millwall kit and I said: 'Wisey, you'll always be a Chelsea player to them!'

"He hasn't changed in all the years I've known him. He's very level-headed and down to earth."