Ask A Silly Question
FourFourTwo interviews football legends about life's endless comedy
Hi Mark. Do you ever wear gloves on a casual basis, or does it feel a bit too much like going to work?
Hi mate. No, I’ll happily pull on a pair of woolly gloves if it’s a bit chilly. They’re not like goalkeeper’s gloves so I can keep the two separate. I don’t like driving gloves, though.
If it was really freezing and you only had your goalie gloves handy, would you pop ’em on?
Nah. I don’t think that would be a great look. I’d leave it.
What do you reckon to Petr Cech’s hat? Shaka Hislop thinks he should try a few different styles and colours.
Hmm. It’s weird how quick we’ve got used to that hat, isn’t it? Maybe he could try a sombrero. That would jazz things up, and keep the sun out of his eyes.
Have you ever considered wearing one of those Australian hats with corks around the rim while in nets?
I haven’t! I’m not sure I’ve ever seen anyone wearing one seriously in Australia. They still wear them in the outback, apparently. They keep the flies out of your eyes. But I’m not a big hat man. I have a baseball cap and a bob hat.
A bob hat? What’s that?
Like a beanie hat. I used to call it a beanie hat in Middlesbrough but they didn’t understand me.
Oh, a bobble hat! Does it have a bobble?
Strange. Now, goalies love clean sheets, but do you ever leave it a couple of weeks before laundering the ones at home?
Absolutely not. We clean them at least once a week, if not twice. We do them ourselves. So I do keep very clean sheets, even at home. I’m quite domesticated, and I love to cook.
What are your top three herbs?
That’s tricky. Oregano, basil and rosemary. You can’t go without those three – they’re the staples.
You’re a children’s author. Which kids’ TV character would you most like to be?
I’d like a go at being Bugs Bunny. He was tremendous at outwitting everyone.
Would you rather be: a Smurf or a Teletubbie?
A Smurf. They had the good hats!
Harry Potter or the Gruffalo?
Potter. It would be nice to spend a day with his wizardry skills.
Would you rather be a lonely dragon or an intrepid panda?
I’d be a panda off on his adventures. It’d be great. I’m not so bothered about being a dragon.
It says on Wikipedia that you’ve worn the same pair of shinpads since you were 19. Is that true?
Yeah. It wasn’t planned, but I had a pair in Australia when I started, and I suddenly noticed I’d been using them for over 15 years. I’ve resolved that they’re coming to the end of my career with me. They’re not minging. If they went missing, I wouldn’t freak out – but I’m going to try to keep them going now.
Good luck. Would you like to live in a house made from cheese?
I’m not sure it would be very practical, but I’d give it a try. I love cheese, especially manchego. But the problem is, I don’t like mice and rats, and my cheese house is going to be a haven for them.
You could put traps around.
But if the whole house is made of cheese, what is going to lure them into a trap?
Hmm, good point. What cheese would you make the bed out of?
Manchego would be good and solid for the furniture. I’d have a pillow made from French Roquefort. Delicious.
Hugging is frowned upon in some societies. Do you like to hug?
Yeah. Why not?
Can I have a hug down the phone, please?
I’m not sure you can hug down the phone. We’ve never met, so I can’t even picture you. Hugging’s better in person.
Fair enough. Now, I’ve just wasted ten minutes of your life. Are you bitter?
I didn’t like to mention it.
You’re too polite. What would you have done with those ten minutes?
Had a cup of coffee, probably.
Ah well, thanks for chatting.
Interview: Nick Moore. From the July 2010 issue of FourFourTwo. Subscribe!
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