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‘Getting Personal’ with Luke Varney

Posted: Fri 15 Aug 2014
Author: rovers.co.uk

A brand new feature where we get to know the person behind the player...

What’s your earliest memory?

Probably playing with my younger brother and sister. Fighting probably! I reckon I was about four or five. My brother is the year below, so we had some good scraps then. A few wrestling matches!

What sort of child were you?

Hyperactive! My mum used to say I had a round backside, because I never sat down. Probably similar to now really. Just very active and I was always the one running about the house and getting told to chill out.

What are you best at outside of football?

Being a dad. I've got two little girls. One's nearly three and the other one's coming up to one-and-a-half, so there's quite a small gap. A with them both being girls, I keep my bleeding eyes on them! I like all sports as well. I love playing golf and cricket. I'm into all sports really.  

What would you like to be better at?

Football! Haha! No, I always aspire to be better at everything really. We had a meeting with a guy who came into the training ground this week and when you see certain things in life, it makes you realise how lucky you are being in the job we're in. I've got a few of his mottos about having no regrets in life and I think that's very important. I always say I'll regret the things I don't do, not the things I have done. There's a lot of stuff I still want to achieve in football and in my home life. I want to be the best dad I can be, so all those bits together.    

What is your most treasured possession?

My family. My wife and children. I'd definitely say that.

Who is the biggest star name in your phone book?

Hmmm, I don't want to give anyone too much credit here. I'd probably say Jordan Rhodes - that'll make the fans happy won't it?!

What has been your most embarrassing moment?

I missed a chance from about a yard last year for Leeds against Southampton. It was harder to miss the chance than to score. It was ridiculous! They showed it about six or seven times on the screen after the game and the fans were just in amazement. But I went on to get Man of the Match, so, again, I didn't let it affect me and I've got no regrets, so I was buzzing with that.

Who do you most admire?

No single person really. I admire people like the guest speaker we had earlier this week. People who have come back from tragedy and things like that. These people who keep coming into the club, we think we moan about little bits and bobs, but it's unreal to hear some of these stories. Just anyone that's come back from adversity, I'm really in awe of those kind of people, because we're trying to achieve something like promotion and we're all fit and healthy, but when you come back from something like that, I'd definitely say that.    

Room, football boots and car – which do you clean first?

I'm quite a tidy person really, so I'd probably say my room, then car, then boots.

Could you survive in the wild on your own?

No. I don't think so. Like I say, I'm quite a tidy person and when I see those people in that jungle, I think 'no, I couldn't be having that!' People doing stuff like that would drive me mad. Cleanliness is quite important to me, so no.

What kind of people do you dislike?

People who have got a lot to say for themselves. It's quite important at a football club that you're all pulling in the right direction. It's not all about one person. I'm in it for the team, so I like people who have got that togetherness.  

What makes you angry?

Getting beat by Craig (Conway) at pool! In all seriousness, probably not giving 100%. If I come off a pitch and feel like I've not done enough, then I'm really angry with myself. That's something I've always believed in. Again at home, if there's something I want to achieve in terms of being a good dad and if don't quite get to that, I don't want to leave myself wanting.

How many close friends do you have?

Obviously I've been at a lot of clubs, but I probably see them more as colleagues. I've probably got five or six real close friends from back home and I've kept in touch with one or two from football clubs I've been at.  

What is the funniest thing that has happened to you recently?

Haha! I better be careful what I say here. Ghostbusters! The lads will know what that means!

What is the worst/best decision you have ever made?

The best decision was probably signing for Blackpool. I had a chance to go to QPR, who were doing really well at the time and were going to get promoted, but Blackpool were in the Prem and it’s the only crack I’ve had at it so far. I had a great year and enjoyed every minute of it. Worst decision is probably leaving Charlton too early, because we had a great team and a great togetherness, but a chance came for me to get closer to home and I probably took it a bit sooner than I would have liked.

What has been your most bizarre life experience?

Being at Blackpool. Silly things like washing your own kit. Going down to Chelsea with your boots covered in mud and cleaning them in the dressing room before the game. It was all hands on deck, but brilliant though. When you’ve come from getting looked after how we do here, to something like that, it just brings you all together and it was definitely an eye-opener.  

What are three things that you would like to do before you die?

Go to the moon, be there to see my children do well in something and accomplish what they want to do, and to finish my career with no regrets.

What team(s) do you support outside of football?

Football, I’m a Leicester fan and I always check for Arsenal’s results for some reason. I always liked (Thierry) Henry, so I think that’s why. Outside of football, every time British teams compete, in things like the Ryder Cup and the Lions Tour, I’m into all sports, so any time a home-grown team goes anywhere, I’m into all that. 

Are you an animal person? Do you have any pets?

I am, but I don’t have any pets at the moment. I always had dogs when I was growing up. I probably don’t have them now because I’ve got children, but I am an animal person.  

What last kept you awake at night?

My ankle on Sunday night after rolling it in the game against Stoke.

What is the toughest decision you had to make in the last few months?

Probably to decide whether my family should move up permanently or keep them there. My wife loves playing netball and my children are at play-school, so whether to do it permanently or have them there. It’s working really well at the minute, a bit in and out. 

What movie, no matter how many times you’ve seen it, do you have to watch when it’s on?

We were just speaking about this earlier. Shawshank Redemption.

Tell me about the last time a team-mate got angry with you. What happened?

I’ve had loads of them! There’s a story from my time at Derby. One of the lads came in from training with what can only be described as ‘poo’ in his pants. So he came in, chucked them on the floor and the lads went in the shower and I got a protein spoon and started swinging a clean pair round in the air, but the lads thought they were the dirty pair and I flung them into a guy’s face, and as I’ve gone back to get changed, he’s literally run out of the dressing room, pinned me up against the wall and my legs were dangling in the air, so that was a funny one! Another one, I kick balls all the time in goalkeeper sessions and I remember at Sheff Wed, I did it for about six months, then one session I ran past and they all pinned me down and rubbed their gloves in my face. I’m a bit of a trouble maker, so I get into a few of them scrapes!             

What business would you love to start?

I’d love to be involved in golf somewhere and I’m into coffee as well, so maybe some sort of coffee shop. 

Did you have any other jobs when you were younger?

Yes. I finished school at 16 and I was in quality control in fabric for four years until I signed for Crewe. That was a big eye-opener. I was training as well in between and running home, so the lads now who did their YTS, when you think the worst thing they did was clean their boots, it just shows you that you can make it.    

Could you find your way around a foreign country using just a map?

I’ll say no, because I’ll get hammered by my wife if I say yes.

What are you most proud of?  

Being a dad.

What is your idea of fun? If given a chance to skip training for a day, how would you spend your day off?

Play golf then have a night out.

What is the weirdest thing you have ever eaten?

I’d probably say grass, when Marshy (Ben Marshall) pushed me over in training the other day.

If you could eliminate one thing from your daily schedule, what would it be and why?

Sleep. I’ve spoken to the lads about this. I struggle to fall asleep, because I’m looking forward to waking up! 

What's the one thing you can't live without?

My children.

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Would you rather...

... skip Christmas for a year or skip your birthday for a year?

Birthday.

… live without your computer/laptop or your television for the rest of your life?

Laptop.

… be able to fly whenever you want or be invisible?

Invisible.

… have a beautiful house and ugly car or ugly house and beautiful car?

Beautiful house and ugly car.

... visit the world 1,000 years into the past or 1,000 years into the future?

Future.

... be rich and ugly or poor and good looking?

Poor and good looking.

… go sky diving or deep-sea diving?

Sky diving.

… have a chef or a cleaner?

Cleaner, because I like cooking.