Derby goalkeeper Scott Carson’s new business venture
SCOTT Carson watched this week as his Derby team gave West Brom a thumping. It’s nothing new. Carson sees that kind of thing two or three times a week, although without anyone actually being flattened like Albion were. Rams keeper Carson has opened his own gym and he goes down there to do a bit of boxing training himself, mixing in with the ladies who are hitting hell out of the punchbags. Carson is hard to spot because the gym, in Lichfield, Staffs, is more like a nightclub - dark, with music, a party atmosphere. “When you are dancing in a nightclub you are less inhibited than if you are dancing fully lit in daylight,” says Carson. “You might not give 100 per cent in the gym because of what people might be thinking as they look at you. “So I thought how could we be different? By keeping the lights low in the gym people can really give it a go.”
Carson’s gym is called Beatbox and has been open since the summer.
“Me and my wife Amy wanted to get involved in something and get ready for when the day comes that I won’t be playing,” he says.
“We wanted to do something along the fitness side of it and we had a chat with one of our friends. He came up with some ideas and Beatbox was the main one that we liked.
“It’s the one I can believe in myself and the more we went down that line, the more it was like how I train day in, day out.
“I thought it was something, especially in the off season, that would help me keep up my fitness levels. The short, sharp sessions that we do in the gym are similar to my goalkeeper training.”
Carson, now 33, hasn’t missed a Championship game this season as Frank Lampard launches his bid to become the manager to finally take Derby back into the Premier League.
It’s been an 11-year wait and managers have come and gone quicker than Donald Trump gaffes.
Carson himself is on the 23rd manager of a personal career that has covered 417 league games ahead of Derby playing Middlesbrough yesterday.
He’s got a Champions League winner’s medal he doesn’t think he deserved, played in front of baying crowds in Turkey and lived through the stick he took when he let in that soft goal against Croatia that cost England a place in the 2008 European Championship finals and got Steve McClaren the sack.
Ironically, McClaren was then one of Carson’s club managers and became one of those who failed to get Derby promotion in two spells as boss.
So how is Carson finding Lampard, someone he faced as a player, as his new boss?
“He’s done so much in the game, he had respect from everyone the moment he walked through the door,” he said.
“It was enough to listen to what he said and
be onside straight away. There’s pressure on him coming to Derby. It’s a big one for his first managerial job and it’s going to put him under the spotlight more, but we are already improving as we go along.
“We’ve hit the ground running and are in a good position at the minute. Hopefully we can keep going now and have a good run.”
The Champions League medal Carson tried to give away was from when he sat on the bench for Liverpool’s epic comeback win over AC Milan in 2005.
Chris Kirkland should have been sub but was injured. After Carson had deputised, he didn’t think he warranted the winner’s medal and offered it to Kirkland.
He refused to take it, saying Carson was a member of Liverpool’s winning side, a gesture Carson still admires.
It’s a long way back for Derby to emulate their own European Cup days of the early 1970s when they reached the semi-finals. There’s a statue outside Pride Park paying tribute to the management team of Brian Clough and Peter Taylor that made Derby English champions and put them in Europe’s top four. But Carson is still a contender. “I love the sessions we do at the gym,” he says. “Tony Anderton, who is a kickboxing and karate world champion, puts them together. “I’ve done a couple. They are brilliant, based on boxing training.”
Around 70 per cent of the 200-strong membership is female. Carson is unsure why. When it’s suggested it might be the ladies getting it out of their system after a row with the old man, he smiles.
But the ladies do get the boxing gloves on and, with the lights low and music high, line up side by side and give the punchbags, which look like alien pods hanging up in a sci-fi movie, a bashing.
“It’s a boxing gym set in a nightclub,” is how Carson describes it. “I was trying to be a bit unique. It’s dark, you don’t see too much, the trainer’s got a mic on.
“If your body is not in great shape it doesn’t matter, no one is really going to see.”
The age range is from 16 to 63, and Lampard and the Derby team are due to go to see for themselves.
Maybe it will help as Derby aim to knock a few more lights out on the
way to promotion.
ALL-SMILES: Goalkeeper Scott Carson is enjoying life at Derby County and, insets, at his new gym
STAR: Derby manager Frank Lampard in his Chelsea days OLD DAYS: Playing for Liverpool against Juventus