Oldham forward Jonathan Forte talks us through his football memories
First game you watched live? It was a Sheffield United game, but I couldn’t honestly tell you who it was against. I was probably about seven years old because it was just before I started playing Sunday league football – I must have watched the game and decided I would have a little bit of that! I went with my uncle Desmond. My cousins James and Gavin played for Sheffield Wednesday, but I was more of a United fan so we went to watch them. First football hero? John Barnes. He was unbelievable and he was left-footed like me too – well, not leftfooted, but he was brilliant with both feet. A little later down the line it was Ryan Giggs, who was definitely left-footed! They were both great players to watch and learn from as a kid. First pair of boots? They were some Adidas World Cups, which were handed down from one of my cousins. They are five years and nine years older than me and Gavin played a couple of games for Sheffield Wednesday, so I always looked up to them a bit and got stuff handed down. I always had World Cups and Copa Mundials as a kid until I started getting flashy boots. Now I have got some of those new Nike Vapors. First kit? This is controversial as a United supporter, but it was a Sheffield Wednesday shirt! My dad Ron supported Wednesday and he bought it for me when I was about six or seven, a bit before I went to that first game. I wore it proudly though – I didn’t really have a clue back then! It was quite a while before I got my first United shirt, probably when I was about nine or ten, but when I signed for them I got a new one every year, so it wasn’t all bad. First professional game? That was for Sheffield United away at Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup, probably third or fourth round, and I played against Des Walker. It was near the end of his career, but he was still a legend. I was on the bench, but I got a good half-hour. We won the game 3-0 and I played pretty well, so it was a good debut all round. First professional goal? It was at Leicester away the following season. If I remember rightly it was just a tap-in, but I was still buzzing. We were losing the game and I pulled one back, but we lost it 3-2 in the end. I would say my most memorable goal so far is probably the one in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy final for Doncaster in 2007. I scored after 45 seconds and we went on to win the game in extra time.
First red card?
That was for Doncaster as well, against Swindon. I scored quite late on in the first half, ran into the crowd and got myself a yellow card. And then in the last five minutes I got a second booking for time wasting. It was a bit of a silly one, but at least we won the game!
CHILDHOOD HERO: John Barnes