Colch­ester mid­fielder Alex Gil­bey talks us through his foot­ball mem­o­ries

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE RESULTS -

First game you watched live? I went along to watch Arse­nal play West Ham at High­bury when I was about six. Arse­nal won 1-0, but I can’t re­mem­ber who scored. What I re­mem­ber bet­ter is the stuff away from the pitch – how loud it was, how peo­ple were so ex­cited for the game and the rush of the match day. My dad, Scott, was try­ing to get me into Arse­nal and, from that mo­ment, I loved it. We started go­ing quite reg­u­larly af­ter that. First foot­ball hero? David Beck­ham was def­i­nitely one, es­pe­cially the way he played for Eng­land. Ev­ery­one loved him and ev­ery­one wanted to be like him. I wanted to take free-kicks like him! I also looked up to Thierry Henry. Go­ing to watch Arse­nal, he won us al­most ev­ery game, so he’s def­i­nitely up there. I al­ways knew I wanted to be a mid­fielder, though, be­cause I like to get stuck in. From that point of view, Pa­trick Vieira was an­other one – he was the gen­eral. First pair of boots? My dad took me to the sports shop and pointed out some Puma Kings with the big floppy tongue. I hated them but he said ‘This is what I wore’ and talked me into them. I was look­ing at the Adidas Preda­tors be­cause that’s what Becks used to wear. Af­ter that, I started wear­ing Copa Mun­di­als and I still wear Adidas boots th­ese days. First kit? That was an Arse­nal shirt with the big col­lar and ‘Sega’ on the front. I loved it and I don’t think I ever took it off. I wouldn’t let my mum, Joanne, put it in the wash. Af­ter that, my dad used to buy me dif­fer­ent in­ter­na­tional shirts – I had Hol­land, Spain and France – and he bought a house in Seville so, when we went on hol­i­day there, I got a Sevilla shirt. First pro­fes­sional game? My de­but was one to for­get. I came on at half-time away to Northamp­ton in the John­stone’s Paint Tro­phy. We were 1-0 up, but I gave away a penalty and we lost 2-1. It was a tough wel­come to men’s foot­ball! I thought I had let all the fans down. I can look back at it now and laugh, but my head was all over the place. First pro­fes­sional goal? That was prob­a­bly one of the best feel­ings of my ca­reer. It was away at Wolves. We were 3-0 down when I scored, so I couldn’t re­ally cel­e­brate. We scored again and then hit the post and I thought ‘If that had gone in, I could prop­erly cel­e­brate!’ My goal was a header, too, so it was a bit un­usual. First red card? A cou­ple weeks ago in the derby against Southend. It was a bad tackle – my stand­ing leg came with me and I knew right away. I looked up and the ref was run­ning over with the red card out. That was prob­a­bly the worst feel­ing of my


FIRST HERO: Gil­bey wanted to take free­kicks like David Beck­ham, seen cel­e­brat­ing af­ter his goal against Greece

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