Former Bristol City and Blackburn defender Bradley Orr shares his football memories
First match? I think it was the famous Liverpool game against Nottingham Forest when they beat them 5-0 in 1988 and John Barnes scored that outrageous goal. That is the professional game I can remember. We used to go to Anfield quite a lot, but my dad played NonLeague football so it meant we could only really go in midweek. Football hero? That was John Barnes (below), definitely. At the time he was one of, if not the best, players in the league and even Europe. He used to skip past defenders and score great goals – or set up great goals. He was one of those players who was very easy on the eye and I used to love watching him. It was a great era for Liverpool. They used to have some amazing players, like Ian Rush and Peter Beardsley. First boots? I think they were a pair of Puma Kings when I was a young kid, maybe seven or eight years old. We used to get excited about new boots as kids, but they come out every couple of months now, don’t they? One pair used to come out each season which everyone wanted. If you got them, you were the bees knees. First kit? My first kit was a Liverpool one from about 1987. That is the first I can remem- ber. I did not have many kits. It was one every two years. If you were lucky, you got an away one, too! It was a far cry from today. First game? My debut was against Wigan for Burnley in the Championship. I had a loan spell there. It was a 0-0 draw and I came off the bench for five or ten minutes. It was a special day and what I had always dreamed about. After all the hard work which goes in as a young kid, it was a relief to finally get out on the pitch. I had a foot on the ladder, albeit on the bottom rung, but I was on the way to becoming what I wanted to be and it was very special. I was supposed to be there for three months, but I was recalled after a month because Newcastle had injuries and I did not get a game! First goal? That was for Bristol City against Yeovil Town in the league a couple of years after my debut. We won 2-1 and that was the first goal of the game. It was a cross-cum-shot that looped over their goalkeeper and it was great! Being a defender meant I did not score many, but it was a fantastic feeling. I was not original with my celebration. Highfives and hugging! My favourite goal was when we got promoted into the Championship at City and I scored at Carlisle at a time when every point was vital. First red card? I think it was against Northampton Town away, live on Sky. It was not actually for a foul. I went head to head with my centre-half, Louis Carey. We
had a disagreement and we are both fiery characters, so it happened. We are actually good friends, but we got at each other and the referee, for some strange reason, showed me a red card! It was a nightmare but we did win. I got stick afterwards but it did not hinder our season.