Ful­ham striker Matt Smith tells us about his Zine­dine Zi­dane French kit

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First game you watched live My dad, Ian, used to play for Birm­ing­ham City, so I al­ways found my­self in the box at St An­drew’s when I was grow­ing up. I re­mem­ber the first game I went to was a 1-1 draw against Stock­port County.

I couldn’t tell you much about the game, but I re­mem­ber hat­ing the food that was put out – it was the sauce on the meat that made me feel so sick.

Be­ing a lo­cal lad, from Eve­sham, Birm­ing­ham were my lo­cal side, so I’ve al­ways had a bit of a soft spot for them, but in my ca­reer I’ve tended to do quite well against them. I re­mem­ber scor­ing for Leeds at St An­drew’s in April 2014 and my dad was al­most chucked out! First pair of boots? I’ve al­ways been an Adi­das Preda­tor man. The ones David Beck­ham used to wear way back in 1998, with the big stripes and the grooves to help you curl the ball, were my first. I loved them so much as a kid that I’ve grown a bit at­tached to them and I’ve had them ev­ery sin­gle sea­son since. First kit? My half-brother, JeanFran­cois, bought me a France na­tional team kit. I think it was the one for the 1998 World Cup in France. I re­mem­ber watch­ing that World Cup on the TV and be­ing so inspired.

I had Zine­dine Zi­dane on the back. What a player he was, but my mum, Fran­coise, is ac­tu­ally French, so I had no qualms about wear­ing it! With my dad be­ing Scot­tish, it’s a bit of a mix! First pro­fes­sional game? It was a 2-0 de­feat for Old­ham against Sheffield United in the first game of the 2011/12 sea­son. I re­mem­ber Stephen Quinn hav­ing an ab­so­lute stormer and set­ting up both the goals for Harry Maguire and Richard Cress­well. Los­ing was bad enough, but that wasn’t the worst part. I ended the game with five stitches in my head af­ter a chal­lenge with Lec­sinel JeanFran­cois. I looked like Terry Butcher by the end and it was only my first game. I thought ‘what have I got my­self into here?’ The week lead­ing up to it was great, be­cause of the ex­cite­ment of know­ing you’re go­ing to make your de­but. First red card? This isn’t my great­est mo­ment on the pitch by any means. I was play­ing for Leeds in a big lo­cal derby against Sheffield Wed­nes­day in Jan­uary 2014 and we were al­ready los­ing 2-0 at half-time. I was brought on to try to change things. What hap­pened was I was sent off within 60 sec­onds of com­ing on, with­out touch­ing the ball, and we went on to lose 6-0. The funny thing about that was I ac­tu­ally met Reda John­son, who went down easily to get me sent off, two weeks later on a night out. He ad­mit­ted he made a meal out of it and of­fered to buy me a drink. I was fined for be­ing sent off and could have done with the week’s wages back to be hon


FRENCH CON­NEC­TION: Zi­dane’s name was on his first shirt

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