Chesterfield midfielder Ollie Banks talks us through his first football memories.
First game you watched live? I remember this like it was yesterday. It was Liverpool versus Olympiakos at Anfield – but not the famous 3-1 victory when Steven Gerrard scored a screamer which was the catalyst for that incredible Champions League win in 2005. My first game was actually a less memorable 2-0 victory for Liverpool in 2000. My dad, Ian, is good friends with Gary McAllister so, after the game, I got to meet all of the players like Gerrard, Jamie Carragher and Michael Owen. First football hero? That was definitely David Beckham. I admired everything about him – the way he was on and off the pitch. His passing ability and his crossing were incredible, his work-rate was amazing and he was always trying to better himself. The way he also carried himself off the pitch made him the model professional. First pair of boots? I had a few as a kid but my first proper pair were adidas World Cups, when I was about six. I think you always remember your first pair of boots, and I’ve actually gone back to adidas again this season after using Nike last term. I had a fair amount of luck with them as a youngster, so let’s hope for the same now! First kit? The first football shirt I owned was a Newcastle United one, but my first full kit was Real Madrid. My parents went over to Spain for a game and brought it back for me. I was over the moon. The all-white of Real is such an historic kit. First professional game? It was the stuff of dreams. I came on as a substitute for Rotherham in May 2011 against Torquay and scored in a 3-1 win. I remember being very nervous beforehand. When I came on, I think there were only about ten minutes left, but I could have scored a hattrick. To add to the memories, I actually came on for my cousin, Nicky Law! First professional goal? In the same game! Adam Le Fondre squeezed the ball through to me, past the full-back and centre-half, and I was through one-on-one with the keeper. I chipped it over him, which, looking back now, wasn’t a good idea at the time so I’m glad I didn't miss! First red card? I was red-carded when I was playing for Scarborough against Brighouse about three years ago. It was for two bookings but I felt they were both quite soft, especially the second. It’s on my record now, though, so I guess I’ve got to live with it!
HERO: David Beckham was the complete professional on and off the pitch