foot­ball firsts

For­mer Read­ing de­fender Nicky Shorey shares his foot­ball mem­o­ries

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE RE­SULTS -

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.

PIC­TURE: Ac­tion Images

PASS MAS­TER: Tot­ten­ham’s Glenn Hod­dle

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