Former Reading defender Nicky Shorey shares his football memories
First match? That is a tough one, but I think it was a Leyton Orient match because that is where my dad, Steve, used to work. He was a coach and a scout, so he would have taken me and my brother, Ross, along there. I also used to go and watch Arsenal as a kid. I am a fan of them and I have some great memories of standing in the Clock End at Highbury. Football hero? Funnily enough, despite being an Arsenal fan, my first football hero was Glenn Hoddle. Very strange, but I used to love the way he played and passed the ball, even though he was a Spurs man. I loved football so much I just appreciated the way he played. It didn’t matter to me if he was with Spurs or not. He had such awareness and real quality. First boots? I think they would have been Puma Kings, the old ones, when I was a kid. I can hardly remember them. My whole career, from the age of 14-15, I had Adidas boots. I used to go to Adidas World Cups and I could not change. They were the best around. First kit? That will have been an Arsenal kit. I remember having one with Tony Adams on the back at one point. He was the captain of the time and six was my lucky number, so I had him. All the shirts I wore during my career are in a bag somewhere in a wardrobe at home, even my England ones. It’s great to have them, but I am not mad for putting stuff out or putting them on show. My brother asks if I can get a shirt from various players, but I keep my ones. First game? That was for Leyton Orient, away at Shrewsbury. I was just 18 at the time. I was a sub and I came on for about ten or 15 minutes. It was amazing to get on the pitch. It was all I wanted to do and it was a great feeling, even though it was foggy, freezing cold and we lost 1-0! But, even though it was so long ago, I remember it like it was yesterday. First goal? I did not score for Orient, so it would have been while I was at Reading, at home against Bradford. I had a shot which was blocked and, when it came back to me, I fired it in with my left foot. We won the game 1-0 and it was a great moment. I scored a few goals for a full-back, mainly free-kicks and a few long-range strikes. I used to practise hard at set-pieces and I enjoyed taking them because I managed to score! First red card? I have only had two red cards, which is a good record for a defender. The first of those was for Ipswich away at Reading. It was a straight red because I was the last man back and I got done for tripping the guy up. I was not an overly-physical player and preferred to use my brain and intercept, so I think that has a lot to
do with it.
PASS MASTER: Tottenham’s Glenn Hoddle