He’s the heartbeat of FC United on the pitch, joining as Reno’s first signing and immediately made his skipper, you know he’s ultra-competitive but did you know he broke his toe playing FIFA, and once got shouted at by Sam Allardyce for some unfortunate parking? No? Then read on....
Q: What’s your daytime occupation?
I lead a team of five people for a recruitment company, we specialise in providing clinical and non-clinical staff into Drug and Alcohol services nationwide, I absolutely love it as the atmosphere within my team has the same buzz as the dressing room, we work hard finding people jobs and when we place someone you get the same feeling as you do scoring a goal, and I love the environment. We’re very busy as we supply care staff which as you can imagine has been incredibly important recently.
Q: how are you occupying yourself during the lockdown?
Well I’m working full time monday to friday so after work I’m keeping fit, watching films, and with the weather being so good it’s great. I’m also running, playing golf, and I’ve got two daschunds one of which is a miniture called Otis who doesn’t stop, he loves his ball and Daisy just loves chilling out and so it’s hilarious trying to get her out for a walk.
Otis and Daisy!
Q: Do you watch any programmes at home that your partner watches that you secretly like but wouldn’t admit to her that you do?
My partner loves historically based dramas, she’ll put it on and I’ll sit and watch it with her, not something I would normally put on myself but I find myself really enjoying them
Q: Favourite all-time television show (apart from the one you secretly love that your missus ’makes’ you watch):
Suits, I liked the pressure and the fact that they were helping people, being the go-to people and they had a great lifestyle, working round the clock and finding solutions for people, it’s what I would enjoy doing.
Q: What’s the worst self inflicted injury you’ve had?
When I was a first year pro at Blackburn we used to live in digs, and we used to play FIFA on a console, as you know I don’t like losing and I was playing Jason Banton and Jordan Bolan and they were far better than me, This was a friday night and I forgot that I didn’t have any shoes on and I got up in frustration and went to kick the air but didn’t notice a laptop on the floor, so I kicked that and broke my left big toe, We were playing Manchester city the next day and I was dying to play so I strapped up my toe and didn’t say anything and played through it, in the end we got battered and I wish I hadn’t bothered as I had to come off a half time. I’ve not played FIFA since.
Q: Best music gig you have ever seen and why?
I don’t really go to gigs, I went to Parklife in 2013 which was good, but I actually prefer watching live music in pubs and small clubs where you can relax and enjoy a beer, there’s quite a few pubs near me with live music on within walking distance so enjoy going to those.
Q:Guilty pleasures time:
Food - I love a good burger so it would be something like a quarter pounder fillet of crispy fried chicken, onion rings salad and garlic aioli with a hot sauce, with peri fries - unreal
Drink - I love Oreos so it would be an Oreo Milkshake - that will do me!
Q: Last film you saw?
It was Yesterday’, a film about the Beatles and their music, the world has an electrical wipeout and when everything comes back online it’s as though the Beatles had never existed, but because they were this guy’s favourite band he becomes famous as an artist as he could remember them all and released them as his own songs, brilliant film, really enjoyed it.
Q: Biggest fashion faux pas?
It’s not quite clothing but a car, when I was at Blackburn I bought a Mini Cooper and David Dunn kept taking the mickey out of me by saying I’d got a hairdressers car. Anyway one day one of the players who was injured got my car keys while I was out training, and they moved my car in the Blackburn car park and parked it in Sam Allardyce’s space, he’d been out somewhere and he turned up while I was having my dinner in the canteen with the rest of the lads. I was only 17 or 18 and sat with Jason Roberts, Benni McCarthy, some great players etc anyway Big Sam burst into the canteen and shouted "Who the f*** drives a Mini Cooper". I wasn’t even listening because he’d never talk to me normally, then he shouted "Pottsy - is it yours? Do you drive a Mini Cooper? Are you a f****** hairdresser?" and I had to get up in front of the whole canteen and go and move it. Obviously he’d been let in on the joke but kept playing along with it. I got rid of the car not long afterwards.
Q: You’re playing for your Liverpool against United who have supported since a boy, you’ve got an open goal in front of you, it’s the last minute of the game and scoring sees Liverpool win the title and relegates United - what would you do?
I’d take the shot as best I could and hope the keeper saves it!
Q: What would happen afterwards, friends/family reaction if you did score?
My mum and dad are quite brutal so they’d say that United deserve to go down if they’re in that position at the end of the season.
Q: Favourite FC moment so far?
There’s so many but I would say my debut, a day I’ll never forget, I signed for the club in the week and the club was in a tough situation, I’d been at Brig with Reno and he said he needed me, I agreed and then the day I turned up he gave me the captains armband before the game and then I went on and scored, I fell in love with the club that day and it’s definitely a day I’ll tell my kids about.
Q: Would you ever consider becoming a referee if you had a good chance of making a career out of it?
It’s not something I would enjoy, I can’t see myself doing it, I have no idea why, fair play to them and they’re fitter than some footballers, and to be fair when I was younger I couldn’t see myself being a coach or a manager, I just wanted to play, I don’t even watch that much football but I enjoy the game, and as I’ve got older and seen how teams work, I’m enjoying that side of the game, I enjoying seeing other players develop and growand I could see myself doing something in that direction in the future. I need to find some time to do my badges.... in a few years though!
Q: The first half hasn’t gone well, Reno is raging with the performance, he’s just kicked a football boot into one of the other players face - are you eyeballing him or looking at the floor hoping he doesn’t pick on you?
I always look at him, I would never look at the floor and I might even be up shouting myself! You’ve got to take it on the chin as footballers and put it right in the second half. He’ll praise you as much as he’ll have a go at you so it’s fair. When we were at Bamber Bridge we were losing away to Clitheroe his old club and we were losing 2-0, it wasn’t just me who was having a bad game but he knows it motivates me so I got the physio table coming flying in my direction. It really gets me focussed and I am really missing it at the moment, in football you get those real moments of clarity where in sporting terms it’s a ’do or die’ situation and scoring those late goals and the crowd going wild gives you an amazing buzz.
Q: Is there any FC player/staff that you wouldn’t want to room with and why?
I always room with him and I don’t know why but it’s got to be Charlie, he eats so much protein and he’s always farting. I love him to bits and on every away trip we’ve been on I’ve roomed with him despite it, I’ve know him so long and we get on really well.
Q: if you could play another position on the team what would you fancy?
I’d like to play centre half, I know I’m not the tallest but I’d love to play there, I think I’d enjoy scrapping with the strikers, fighting for the ball and winning the headers, just being in the thick of the action
Q: What’s your favourite part of playing football?
It’s the camaraderie in the dressing room then being out there on the pitch, being absolutely knackered, fighting for each other, and pulling people along then getting the result after knowing you’ve put everything into it - can’t wait to be back at it
Q: Record for keepy-ups (kick ups etc)?
I don’t really bother with that sort of thing, definitely over a hundred but it’s not something I’d do for fun
Q: How many press-ups can you do before your arms start trembling like a dog doing its business?
I’ve been doing quite a few recently and did 60 the other night, I think I can complete the ’Bring Sally Up’ challenge now...
Q: Any one handed ones?
I’ve never tried it, I could probably do one !
Q: Do you have any talents or abilities other than on the pitch?
I love golf, just getting back into it and I play off 15 and have just rejoined a golf club as I’m a bit rusty but looking to get my handicap down.
Q: What’s the worst initiation you’ve ever had to do when joining a new team?
When I was in the Youth Team at Blackburn, we were in the Premier League at the time and Sam Allardyce was managing, they were on a bad run, Gary Bowyer was the Youth Team manager and to cheer the first team up he got us all on a minibus to Ewood Park and we had to go into the dressing room and sing for the first team, one by one, to pick up their spirits, on the way down I was scared, then we had to line up outside the dressing room and you wanted to go first, you could hear everything, the lads were going in and you could hear boos, water and socks being thrown, you had El-Hadj Diouf shouting "Rubbish" in your face, I went in and sang ’Angels’ by Robbie Williams, I did a really good job, got a cheer and then Big Sam shouted ’Dance for us Pottsy’, I said no then they all started so I ended up having to do a quick shimmy - character building!