foot­ball firsts

Brad­ford de­fender Matt Kil­gal­lon talks us through his foot­ball mem­o­ries

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE RESULTS -

First game watched live? I think it was Leeds v Ar­se­nal around 1997. I can just re­mem­ber Ian Wright chip­ping Nigel Mar­tyn and that was my first proper live ex­pe­ri­ence. I loved it be­cause El­land Road was packed back then. When I signed for Leeds at the Cen­tre of Ex­cel­lence, I was a ball boy ev­ery Satur­day. They were good days, Cham­pi­ons League nights and big matches. It is sad to see what they have be­come. First foot­ball hero? I used to love watch­ing Paul Gas­coigne play for Eng­land. I was a striker when I was younger, but be­cause I was tall I was changed to cen­tre-half at 13-year­sold. I started to watch a dif­fer­ent part of the game, so I started to like Jonathan Woodgate and Rio Fer­di­nand, who changed the way de­fend­ers played. Rio was just out­stand­ing. First boots? I used to get one pair a year at Christ­mas and the first ones were a pair of Lotto boots. They were black with a green top. I think Ruud Gul­lit had them and I used to love them. I have kept a cou­ple of pairs, likes the ones I wore when Sun­der­land beat Manch­ester City in 2012. But we send most off to Africa to help young boys out there. First kit? My first kit was a Ju­ven­tus one. I used to play for Rown­trees in York and, af­ter the matches, we would go to the pub and my dad would play domi­noes. I would sit in an­other room and watch Ital­ian foot­ball on Chan­nel 4. I loved that show! I have some good ones now. I have swapped shirts with Alan Shearer, Rio Fer­di­nand and Vin­cent Kom­pany. I get them framed. First game? My de­but was in the UEFA Cup for Leeds against Hapoel Tel Aviv at a neu­tral ground ,so it was a weird ex­pe­ri­ence. Terry Ven­ables was the boss and I was on the bench. Lu­cas Radebe went down in­jured and I was on – it was crazy. We won 4-1, with Alan Smith scor­ing all four. My first game at El­land Road, against West Ham, was class and then I made my first start against As­ton Villa and Dion Dublin. It was the first time I thought I could play at that level. First goal? That was against Southamp­ton, when we lost 2-1 in 2004. It was a header from an Ian Harte cross and I glanced it into the bot­tom cor­ner. As I have got older, I do get for­ward more, but I prob­a­bly should have scored more goals in my ca­reer. My best was for Sh­effield United and it wasn’t a header, which sur­prised even me! The keeper came out and punched a ball clear and I lobbed him from the edge of the box on the vol­ley. First red card? The first one was away at Brighton for Leeds, when I got two book­ings. It was at the old Withdean Sta­dium and you could hear ev­ery­thing from the chang­ing rooms. About two min­utes later, Paul But­ler was sent off, too! The worst one was in the Sh­effield derby, when I was shown a straight red card. The ref­eree thought I had kicked a guy in the chest ten min­utes in, but I never touched him! I was get­ting a lot of abuse and we

lost 1-0.

EARLY HERO; Paul Gas­coigne

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