foot­ball firsts

For­mer Notts County and Rother­ham de­fender Nick Fen­ton shares his foot­ball mem­o­ries

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE RESULTS -

First match?

I grew up in Dundee and the first match I re­mem­ber go­ing to watch was the big derby be­tween Dundee and Dundee United. I used to al­ter­nate be­tween the two clubs each week, so there was al­ways a game to watch, but I prob­a­bly pre­ferred United. When I was about ten, we moved to Wales and from there I sup­ported Manch­ester United.

Foot­ball hero?

Grow­ing up, I used to like cen­tre-backs and peo­ple like Terry Butcher were my first he­roes. He was a nat­u­ral leader, strong and ag­gres­sive and could play a bit, too. The im­age of him with the blood com­ing from his head in Italia ’90 was iconic. I liked Tony Adams, too, and I used to watch how they did cer­tain things and copy them – though not quite to the same level! Most of my friends wanted to be strik­ers, but I was al­ways a de­fender.

First boots?

It might have been a pair of Um­bro Spe­ciali boots. They were the first proper pair, any­way. When I was younger, I ob­vi­ously had a lot of plas­tic pairs my mum and dad bought for me – like I do for my son now! But the Um­bros were the first and they were a good pair.

First kit?

The first kit I owned was ei­ther a Dundee United kit or an Aberdeen one. I re­mem­ber re­ally lik­ing one at the time. As a play- er, I never re­ally col­lected shirts or swapped them with the op­po­si­tion. There are only a few games where I did. I re­mem­ber, at Notts County, we played Chelsea and I swapped with Wayne Bridge. Also, against Mid­dles­brough I got a Gareth South­gate one be­cause he was a cen­tre-half that I had al­ways re­spected.

First game?

It was a poignant one for me be­cause it was for Manch­ester City against Notts County in a League Cup game back in 1998. We won 7-1 at Maine Road and I went on to play for four years at County when I left City. So, when I look back, it was quite a big thing. Joe Royle was the man­ager and he was fan­tas­tic with me. I played 19 games that sea­son and that did a lot for my con­fi­dence. I was very ex­cited be­fore the first one – like a kid at Christ­mas.

First goal?

That was on my home de­but for Notts County against Wy­combe Wanderers in Oc­to­ber 1999. It’s funny be­cause I am the physio at Bur­ton now, and the goal­keeper coach, Martin Tay­lor, was in goal that day, so I tease him a lot! I just poked it in from close range as it was bob­bling about in the box. I al­ways liked scor­ing and got 37 in my ca­reer, so I think I did pretty well. Most of those were head­ers from set-pieces. My tally is com­pa­ra­ble with some cen­tre­for­wards I know!

First red card?

My first red card was for Notts County against Northamp­ton Town in 2002 and I re­mem­ber I was ill all week and prob­a­bly should not have been play­ing. It was a Tues­day night and it was a chal­lenge I should not have been go­ing for. I was frus­trated and got sent off...

LEADER: Terry Butcher

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