Chill­ing with nice Chris Pow­ell

Southend’s boss is out to prove that nice guys don’t fin­ish last – and he’d hap­pily thump Trump

FourFourTwo - - CONTENTS - In­ter­view Nick Moore Illustration Bill Mc­conkey

Hi Chris. You’re run­ning the Lon­don Marathon for Prostate Cancer UK – will your com­pet­i­tive in­stinct kick in if some berk in a gi­ant Mr Tickle out­fit goes fly­ing past you? Ha. Yeah, I’m giv­ing it a go. I’ve never done one be­fore and I’ll never do one again. I did a half-marathon re­cently and my body is still, er, ad­just­ing. I’m hop­ing not too many peo­ple dressed up as rhi­nos sprint past me! Re­mem­ber to put Vase­line on your nip­ples. The chafing can be aw­ful. It’s not just the nip­ples I’m wor­ried about with the chafing! In­deed, Chris. Dread­ful. Have you done any other kind of marathon? A TV marathon, maybe? Yes. I’m as happy as Larry with a box set. Game of Thrones, The So­pra­nos – done in a mat­ter of days. The Wire was my favourite. I think I did se­ries two and three within five days. What a show. The bloke with the shot­gun, Omar, was my favourite. Those days are gone now I’m a man­ager again. Great taste. What about a sleep­ing marathon? Niall Quinn reck­ons he could do 14 hours straight. In my early twen­ties, af­ter play­ing on a Satur­day and then hav­ing a night out, I think I sur­passed Niall’s record. Sun­day was gone – it was ridicu­lous. Now I’m lucky to get five or six hours. You’re known as the nicest man in foot­ball – do you ac­cept that? It’s not about ‘nice’ for me, but I was brought up to treat peo­ple the right way and I’ve got no time for any­thing else. I like peo­ple to be happy. So I’ll take it. There are worse tags. Are there any chinks, though? Have you ever kicked a cat? I’d never kick a cat. I haven’t got one. I’ve got a dog called Kenji. I’d never kick him ei­ther. He’s a Eurasian – half Ger­man Spitz, half Keeshond. Ex­otic. Do you ever pre­tend not to see some­body on the street by look­ing at your phone? No com­ment! Maybe the odd in­ci­dent. Have you ever sworn at an un­so­licited tele­mar­ket­ing caller, Chris? They’re just do­ing their job... I had a call from some­one pre­tend­ing to be David Moyes. I’ve met David, so I knew it wasn’t him. He said, “This is David Moyes from West Ham United.” He would never say that. This guy was en­quir­ing about a player. I po­litely told him what he could do with his en­quiry. If you could have one free punch at any­body, who would you hit? Don­ald Trump. Done. I just don’t know what he is do­ing. Bang goes my in­vite to the White House. Who do you think is the nicest per­son in foot­ball, then? I think it would be tough to beat Chris Hughton. All Chrises are nice, see? He’s a di­a­mond of a man and would be the pres­i­dent of foot­ball’s nice guy club. He is a very good man­ager, though. Don’t un­der­es­ti­mate nice man­agers. We won’t. Your name is an ana­gram of ‘Chill Pow­ers’. How would you rate your abil­ity to chill? I would say I have rea­son­able pow­ers. It’s im­por­tant to de-stress when you’re a man­ager. I’ll switch off with a good book. I’m read­ing Shoe Dog, writ­ten by the man who cre­ated Nike. You are also an ana­gram of ‘Chisel prowl’. Have you ever roamed wildly with a tool in be­tween un­suc­cess­ful bouts of DIY? No. I’m too ter­ri­ble at DIY to ever prowl with a chisel. My wife is bet­ter than me, and if she can’t do some­thing, we get some­body in to help. Fi­nally, you’ve spent so much time in east Lon­don and Southend, you must be eat­ing jel­lied eels on a daily ba­sis? I’m sorry, but I’m not. I can’t eat any of that stuff. I don’t mind the odd shrimp, but I won’t go near a jel­lied eel. Sorry. Thanks for chat­ting! Cheers.

“I WOULD NEVER KICK A CAT. I’VE GOT A DOG CALLED KENJI, AND I WOULDN’T KICK HIM EI­THER”

Spon­sor Chris in the Lon­don Marathon at www.justgiv­ing.com/chris-pow­ell2018

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