Rotherham United midfielder Lee Frecklington talks us through his football memories
First game you watched live? It was a Lincoln game, I think the first one was against Manchester City in the League Cup – although I can’t remember what year it was or what the score was (it was 1996-97 and Lincoln won 4-1 – Ed). The first one I really remember was when I went to watch Leeds v Coventry. It was 1-0 and Robbie Keane scored. I went along with my old man, Craig, who was the one who really got me into football. Leeds were always my team growing up thanks to him – I was brought up on the glory days for the club and still have the 196575 DVD! Lincoln were my home town club though, so they meant a lot to me as well. First football hero? Being a Leeds fan, at the time, it was Harry Kewell. He was the best player in the team back then and the one I always wanted to be. His skill on the ball was what made him special for me, technically he was just a very good player. First pair of boots? They were a pair of black and yellow Adidas ones, and it’s funny actually as just this week my daughter Arabella found them and had them on. She’s three yearsold and they are a children’s size 12, and she was wearing them round the house having found them in a box. I’m pretty sure my mum bought them for me when I first started playing and I was trying to wear them in every day after that for a while. First kit? Every Christmas I’d get the new Leeds kit that had come out, so my first kit would have been one of them, with Alan Smith as the first name on the back. Getting kits every year probably stopped when I was about 14 and I started playing for Lincoln myself. First professional game? I remember it well, it was an LDV Vans Trophy game for Lincoln back in 2003. It was my first start and we won 3-1. I didn’t score in that but I remember I managed 80 minutes and really enjoyed it. We were playing Telford, who were in the Conference, so we were the better team. That made it a good one to come in for and find my feet. First professional goal? That came away at Stockport a couple of seasons later in 2005 when I had come on as a sub. We won 3-2 and it was the winning goal. I got put through one-on-one, but I shanked my shot a bit and it came back off the post, but fortunately it fell straight back to me and I put it in. It was a bit of a lucky one to start me off, but it was a special feeling scoring for my hometown club. First red card? Away at Southampton when I was playing for Peterborough, and it was after 11 minutes. Two tackles, two yellow cards, and I was off the pitch after just 11 minutes. So that was obviously not the start I wanted, but the gaffer wasn’t too angry with me as he said neither were yellow cards.
MAD ABOUT HARRY: Lee Frecklington’s first hero was Leeds’ Harry Kewell