Former Peterborough striker Aaron McLean talks us through his football memories
First match? I went to watch a Chelsea match after training with the academy. It was in 1993 when I was 10. I used to go with some of the other players and we could sit and watch the games but I cannot remember exactly which match it was. I also became a ball boy while I was at the academy. I remember my first match as a ball boy was against Manchester United. It was pretty surreal! First hero? Ian Wright. I loved his movement in the box and finishing ability. I’ve met him a few times since and I know his sons quite well. He’s a great guy and I learned a lot from him. I also aspired to be like Alan Shearer. He scored such a wide range of goals – headers, volleys, tap-ins, he was the ultimate striker. First boots? They were a pair of black Mitre boots. They weren’t the nicest boots in the world but they were the first pair my mother bought me so I remember them. They weren’t brilliant but they did a job. First kit? I had a Blackburn Rovers shirt but then I had a few Chelsea shirts as well. Chelsea was the team I supported as a kid and the only reason behind the Blackburn kit was because I loved Alan Shearer. The first kit I bought myself was a Borussia Dortmund shirt. I bought it while on tour with Chelsea in the late 90s and it was luminous yellow and black. I was 14 at the time and I used to wear it every time I played football with my friends. First game? My first game was against Reading in the Football League Trophy in 1999 when I came on as a substitute for Leyton Orient. I had been training with the first team for quite a while so I was raring to go but making my first appearance for Orient was scary. I came on in the second half and the gaffer Tommy Taylor told me to get on and run around, which is exactly what I did! I don’t think I did an awful lot but to get out there was amazing. First goal? It was against Shrewsbury away from home with Orient the following season (2000-01). We were losing 1-0 and then I scored a diving header and we got a 1-1 draw in the end. I was absolutely buzzing! It was a cold and wet night at their old stadium, Gay Meadow, and I was just so excited to get my first goal. Once I scored I did a Jurgen Klinsmann celebration, sliding across the grass on my front. The kits were a lot bigger then so when I got up my shirt was soaking wet. The kit became so baggy but I don’t regret it at all. I’ve gone for the Klinsmann a couple of times since but I stick to the knee slide more often as you don’t get as dirty! First red card? I’ve only ever had one and it was away to Exeter with Aldershot in the Conference in 2004. It was two yellows and both were late tackles but, to be honest, I don’t think either were bookings. I always thought I was pretty good at tackling but it was one of those days I was just a yard off it. I’ve never made that mistake since.
FIRST HERO: Ian Wright