Bury striker Tom Pope talks us through his foot­ball mem­o­ries

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE RESULTS -

First game you watched live? I can re­mem­ber vividly watch­ing Port Vale ver­sus Grimsby on a Tues­day night, for some rea­son. I prob­a­bly went to one some time be­fore that, but that’s the first one I can re­call. I was about five years old and Vale won 1-0, if I am cor­rect. I don’t think it was a clas­sic. but that stayed with me.

First foot­ball hero? That would have to be Martin Foyle. He played for Port Vale and that’s the team I’ve ended up sup­port­ing all my life. My grand­fa­ther used to take me to his games. He was the top goal scorer and I just loved ev­ery­thing about the way he played. He was strong, good in the air, scored plenty of goals and threw him­self about – and he’s some­one I tried to model my­self on as a striker. He was just like Alan Shearer, just maybe not quite as good!

First foot­ball boots? They are a pair of Um­bro Spe­cials. I don’t re­mem­ber my first goal with them, but we used to win games with score­lines like 24-0 when I was play­ing at school and in Crewe’s academy, so there were plenty of op­por­tu­ni­ties to use them!

First kit? My first kit was my school kit. It was a stan­dard one for the time – blue and white top with long blue socks, so I thought it al­ways looked a bit like Black­burn’s!

First pro­fes­sional game? I made my first-team de­but for Crewe when I was about 21. I came on as a sub­sti­tute against Gilling­ham away. It wasn’t the best of starts, though, as we lost 1-0. I didn’t get many op­por­tu­ni­ties as I came on late in the sec­ond half. Thank­fully, it got bet­ter from there.

First goal? I scored on my first start for Crewe, away to Bris­tol Rovers. It was an equaliser and I clipped it over the keeper. It was a re­ally good feel­ing to get that first one un­der my belt.

First red card? Thank­fully, I’ve not had one so far! I had a bit of an es­cape on my home de­but, though. I got a yel­low card af­ter be­ing on the pitch for only about two sec­onds – I prob­a­bly de­served it, too. It was against Bris­tol City and they were ar­gu­ing that it was a red, though hon­estly I don’t think it de­served that. I was fired up af­ter com­ing on and I lunged in at a lad who had just taken a throw-in. They wanted a red but I was happy to get away with just a yel­low!

LIKE SHEARER: Early hero Martin Foyle, in ac­tion for for Port Vale

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