Yeovil’s Ryan Bird talks us through his foot­balling mem­o­ries

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE RESULTS -

First game you watched live? I can’t re­mem­ber one game in par­tic­u­lar but I used to go to Lof­tus Road a lot when I was younger to watch QPR. I used to go when­ever they were at home with a friend and his grand­dad, which are some great mem­o­ries. I still sup­port QPR now and I will al­ways re­mem­ber those early days watch­ing them – they had such a big in­flu­ence on me want­ing to play football. First football hero? It would have to be David Beck­ham, just be­cause of the way he al­ways car­ried him­self and dealt with things on and off the pitch. He was a great foot­baller as well and maybe some­times peo­ple forgot about what a ta­lent he was be­cause of all the other stuff. When I was grow­ing up I sup­ported QPR but I al­ways had a bit of a soft spot for Manch­ester United – though I don’t know if I should ad­mit that! First pair of boots? I had this pair of yel­low Di­adora boots. They were bright yel­low and, look­ing back now, they were a bit much. But ev­ery­one had these crazy colour boots and I was prob­a­bly

about ten years old and so happy with them. They had those old school screw off studs and I was buzzing when I got them – I’d pol­ish them ev­ery night! First kit? This older kid across the road had the old green and gold Manch­ester United kit and he gave it to me be­cause it didn’t fit him any more. It was way too big for me but I didn’t care – I used to wear it all the time when we played football on the street. By the time I got it, it was re­ally old but I used to pre­tend I was Becks play­ing in that kit and wore it un­til it ripped. First pro game? The one that re­ally stands out was when I was at Portsmouth and we played in a pre-sea­son match against Rayo Val­le­cano. They were so good and we couldn’t get the ball off them at all. It was a real eye­opener for me to see how good they were tech­ni­cally. At one point, I smashed their keeper in a 50/50 chal­lenge and he didn’t like it too much. He chased af­ter me shout­ing – I don’t think he was used to the English game! First pro goal? A lit­tle bit af­ter that friendly I bagged an equaliser for Portsmouth away to Torquay. We were los­ing 1-0 and there were ten or 20 min­utes left and I man­aged to score. At the time I couldn’t en­joy it be­cause I had to get back and de­fend and make sure we got some­thing from the game but af­ter­wards I was ab­so­lutely buzzing be­cause it was ev­ery­thing I’d dreamed of as a kid. First red card? I was play­ing for Burn­ham and we were 1-0 up. The op­po­si­tion had an ef­fort from a cor­ner and I hand­balled it on the line and got sent off. I stayed in the tun­nel to watch the penalty and our keeper saved it so I guess it was the right thing to do in a

weird way!

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