Crawley Town centre-forward Gavin Tomlin talks us through his football memories
First game you watched live? The first game I went to was a Crystal Palace game back in the day when Ian Wright was a role model in South London, but I can’t remember who they were playing. I can just remember watching Wright. He had worked so hard to move to Palace from Greenwich and you could tell how much he loved football just by watching the way he charged around and appealed to the referee for every decision to go his way. It was a close friend of my family who took me. He was a Palace fan and he knew I liked football, but I was actually a Newcastle fan. First football hero? Andy Cole. He scored loads of goals for Newcastle, looked aggressive and had a real eye for goal. He was a great striker. I was 11 when he was sold from Newcastle to Manchester United and I was devastated! It was those two going for the Premier League title back then, so it was a big blow. First pair of boots? My first pair were Nike Tiempos. They were black, which is unusual nowadays – everybody seems to wear pink, orange, green, you never see a black pair any more. I was given them when I was eight and I still wear Nike boots today. First kit? It was a Newcastle United home kit, the black and white stripes, and I think I still have it. I saved up some money when I was younger to buy the shirt and the shorts. And then my cousin gave me the socks to complete the kit. First professional game? It was for Brentford when I was 22 in the 2006-07 season after I’d played Non-League football at a few different clubs like Staines and Windsor & Eton. I came on as a substitute at the start of the second half against Blackpool and we won 1-0. My first start was a couple of days later away at Northampton and we won 1-0, but I didn’t end up playing in the second half of the season and eventually moved to Fisher. First professional goal? It was in my first start for Yeovil in a 1-1 draw with Walsall. It was a tap-in, but I celebrated as if it was a spectacular effort from 30 yards! Every goal counts... First red card? I’ve never been sent off in my career and hopefully I can keep that record. But I was booked 11 times last season for Crawley!
GOAL HERO: Gavin Tomlin was gutted when Andy Cole left Newcastle