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‘Getting Personal’ with Jason Steele

29 December 2014

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Jason Steele is the next player in the hot-seat for our new feature where we get to know the person behind the player...

What's your earliest memory? 

I remember going up to a caravan park in Berwick when I was about four. That was my family holiday back in the day. I remember my nana had to drive us all the way there and then she came home and then drove all the way back two days later to pick us up because we didn't have a family car!

What sort of child were you?

I think I was a good kid. I've got a younger brother who was a little nuisance sometimes. I don't think I slept very well when I was a kid, my mum always tells me, but I tried hard at school and got grades and obviously loved football. So I was one of those kids. 

What are you best at outside of football?

When I'm not looking after my kids, I'm probably best at golf. That's probably my second favorite sport. My handicap is eight at the minute. I think I could get it a little bit lower, but I don't get much chance to practice. I generally start the summer at about 10, then get lower and then I have to put them away when the weather gets cold just when I'm starting to warm up a little bit. 

What would you like to be better at?

Golf! Like I said, it's probably my favourite hobby away from football, especially when you get four hours to yourself to concentrate on something else. I would love to get time to be able to practice and keep improving at that. 

Tell us a secret about yourself?

I have two Labradors, Bella and Barney. Bella is black and Barney is white – a bit like Marley from Marley & Me. I'm partial to a bar of chocolate every now and again too!

What is your most treasured possession?

I would have to say an England cap or my bracelet from when I was part of Team GB, which has my own number on. I'd say they are probably my most prized possessions in sporting terms.

Who is the biggest star name in your phone book?

I'd probably say Jonathan Woodgate. He's a great player obviously and he's not had a bad career! He's a good lad and we're good mates. He's always the first to text me after games, so we've always kept in touch.  

What has been your most embarrassing moment?

I once got my haircut in a farmer's field by my mate. I shaved his hair and it was that bad I let him shave mine! For some reason we were in a farmer's field and the cutters ran out of battery, so my mum and dad had to finish the job back in the house. 

Who do you most admire?

When I was younger I always loved Peter Schmeichel and David Beckham. Now I would say more Manuel Neuer. He's probably the one I watch the most. I think he's taken goalkeeping onto a new level and he's brilliant to watch. 

Your house, your football boots and your car – which do you clean first?

Football boots, house, car. My missus will tell you different there though!

Could you survive in the wild on your own?

Absolutely no chance! You couldn't pay me enough money to go on I'm A Celebrity!

What kind of people do you dislike?

I don't like people who say they're going to do something and don't do it. And I don't like people who don't give their all and go half-heartedly when there's no reason not to give their all. 

What makes you angry?

Conceding goals. Bad drivers. That's it really. 

How many close friends do you have?

Close, I would say four or five. One or two from school, one who's come along from being a bit older and another one from football. 

What is the funniest thing that you've seen or that has happened to you recently?

The Wealdstone Raider has got to be up there! I think he's hilarious. The lads have been giving John Keeley a bit of stick saying that he sounds exactly like him! I genuinely like watching the funny Vines and things that you see on the internet, they seem to tickle me a little bit, and he's one that's caught my attention recently.  

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

That's a tough one. Probably getting myself on the property ladder when we were young would be up there. Me and my fiancé were 19 when we bought our first house. In terms of football, I think coming here to play some games was a massive decision I made. Obviously I didn't know I was going to play, but to challenge myself. Worst decision would have to be getting sent off at Middlesbrough against Leeds, because I never really got back in the team. 

What has been your most bizarre life experience?

I was driving home from training the other day and I was going back up north on the back roads and all of a sudden I could see something in the distance and I'm thinking, what is that? And as I got closer, it was actually a bull stood in the middle of the road! I literally had to slam by brakes on and reverse a little bit and sit in the car for about five minutes until it cleared off. That was pretty bizarre and I'm pretty sure I'll never see something like that again! 

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

Travel the world. I've been lucky with football to cover a lot of the world, but not really in a travel sense. I'd like to have a go at sky-diving. I'm not great with heights, but it's still something I'd love to do. And I would like to score a goal! I came close a couple of years ago against Leeds at Elland Road.  We were 1-0 down and I went up for a corner and I had a free header in the last minute of the game and I missed it! And the ref blew the whistle straight after. 

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

Not really. I follow a lot of local football where I'm from with my friends. I'm manager of a Sunday League team called Newton Aycliffe Working Men's Club and we participate in the FA Sunday Cup. We're a decent team. We've all grown up together, so we all know each other and most of the lads play in the Northern League, which is a really good standard. So they play on a Saturday, then we all play on a Sunday and then go for a pint after the game. Other than football, I'm just an avid lover of sport really. If the cricket's on the telly I'll watch the cricket, if the rugby's on I'll watch that. I got into the Super League a little bit this year. And golf obviously.

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

I'm not really an animal person. I'm scared of dogs, but for some reason my fiancé sort of talked me into getting a dog, which quickly became two. I don't know where it came from, but they're some of the best decisions we've made getting the dogs, because they're absolutely brilliant. 

What last kept you awake at night?

The baby! We've got a seven-month-old, who's teething, so he keeps us awake a little bit. 

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

Obviously leaving Middlesbrough was a tough decision, although it wasn't at the same time, if that makes sense. Other than that, deciding which way I'm going to go home from training ... the A59 or the M6 – it's always a bit of a gamble!

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

Home Alone at Christmas. It's our family rule, we always watch Home Alone. If Marley & Me is on, we always watch that because of the dogs. My favorite film is probably Man on Fire, so whenever that's on, I'll watch that as well. 

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

When I was on the same team as Marshy (Ben Marshall) playing in a pool competition the other day, I missed a shot and he wasn't happy with me!

What business would you love to start?

I would love to open a café or a coffee shop. I've got two young kids, so my fiancé and myself love our coffee and we've always talked about opening a coffee shop and a little cake shop. I've been lucky to have ventured into a little bit of property as well, but business-wise I'd love to open a few coffee shops and sell some good coffee. 

Did you have any other jobs when you were younger?

No, never. I always wanted to be a paper boy, but I loved my sleep too much and I could never get up!

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

Yeah, I love reading maps. I love going to London and getting on the tube. My missus never knows how I do it, but I just love calculating my way around places. I have got a pretty short temper to be fair, so I lose my temper quick if I haven't got it right, I think most men do, but I love doing all that.  

What are you most proud of?

My kids. I love my kids to bits. I've got a little three-year-old and I'm proud of the way he's grown up into a beautiful little man. I've got a seven-month-old little boy as well. And I'm proud of some of the achievements I've had so far in football – representing my country and Team GB was brilliant.

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

I usually spend it with the kids and the missus. We take the dogs out for a nice walk and then go and have some breakfast. That's about as fun as it gets! We always like to go bowling and just do general activities that you don't really get to do. 

What is the weirdest thing you have ever eaten?

A snail in France, when I was younger. My granddad used to live in France, so we went there and he made me eat a snail and I'll never, ever eat another one! 

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

It would probably be when I'm back up north and I have to set off at 6am to drive back down. I don't mind the getting up, it's just the driving.  

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

Probably my phone. Obviously to keep in touch with the family and then I have to text the lads on a Saturday night to see whether they're going to be available for me to pick them on a Sunday.

Would you rather...

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

I would have always said Christmas, but now I've got the kids I would rather skip my birthday, because Christmas is brilliant. 

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


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


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

Beautiful house, ugly car. 

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


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

Rich and ugly.

... go sky-diving or deep-sea diving?


... have a chef or a cleaner?

Cleaner, because my missus is good at cooking!

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