Old­ham Ath­letic winger Mark Yeates talks us through his foot­ball mem­o­ries

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE RESULTS -

First game you watched live? The first one I re­mem­ber is an in­ter­na­tional game – I went to watch Ire­land against Rus­sia at Lands­downe when I was about eight or nine. I would have seen my dad Stephen play in the League of Ire­land from about four or five. He played for Shel­bourne and Sham­rock Rovers and was a very good foot­baller. Un­for­tu­nately he passed away when I was 17 and play­ing at Tot­ten­ham. First foot­ball hero? My dad would fall into that bracket but my ab­so­lute hero was al­ways Maradona. He is the best player who has ever played and I loved watch­ing clips of him. That goal against Eng­land is one that peo­ple re­mem­ber but some of the goals he scored at Napoli were scan­dalous. First pair of boots? I had a pair of Pu­mas with Maradona’s name on them as a kid. I played foot­ball from age five so it would have been around then. Later, when I signed with Tot­ten­ham, I al­ways wore Nikes and the Va­pors were nice when they came out. First kit? I’m a Liver­pool fan so it would have been one of theirs. Be­ing Ir­ish, you al­ways get a Celtic kit thrown at you as a kid, too! If I ever had a num­ber on the back, it would have been ten. First pro­fes­sional game? That was on loan at Brighton from Tot­ten­ham when I was 18. It was great for me – I had my mum Rhonda and grand­dad Tony come over but we got beaten 4-1 by Bris­tol City at home. I was a bit wor­ried I wasn’t go­ing to stay in the team! Com­ing from re­serve foot­ball, it was a big step. It was very phys­i­cal and it wasn’t a nice feel­ing get­ting beat. First pro­fes­sional goal? I didn’t score for Brighton but I did on loan at Colch­ester a couple of sea­sons later. It was in the FA Cup, when we played Leam­ing­ton Spa and ended up beat­ing them 9-1 and I nicked one. That sea­son we got pro­moted and I got a few goals. It was a good learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence and get­ting pro­moted in any league is bril­liant. First red card? Luck­ily, I have never been sent off but I don’t think that would sur­prise many peo­ple – I don’t know how to tackle! I have got plenty of yel­low cards for chirp­ing at ref­er­ees, though, and I have been pulled aside quite a bit to be told to shut up but I’ve never gone in for a nasty chal­lenge.

HERO: Maradona scored some ‘scan­dalous’ goals at Napoli

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