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‘Getting Personal’ with Ryan Tunnicliffe

22 December 2014

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Ryan Tunnicliffe is the next player in the hot-seat for our feature where we get to know the person behind the player...

What’s your earliest memory?

My earliest memory is probably getting run over on my bike when I was at nursery or reception! I would have been about four or five at the time. I went flying round a corner and got hit by a car. It didn’t hurt – I was made of steel back then! I just got up, cycled home, went and sat in my room and my mum grounded me because I wouldn’t tell her what had happened!    

What sort of child were you?

Cocky. Very cocky! I would answer back all the time, to the elders on my street and the older lads who I used to play football with. I got a few beatings for it!

What are you best at outside of football?

I don’t know really, I’ve not got many hobbies. I’m just best at chilling out probably. When I’ve got some spare time, I just like sitting on the couch, watching TV box-sets and hanging around with my mates. I don’t really do anything else other than football.

What would you like to be better at?

I know a lot of people say golf, but probably golf myself. I’m not really into it, probably because I’m not the best at it, but I wouldn’t mind being good at it. It’s nice to play a round of golf on a sunny day and it would be nice to play a full 18 rather than getting bored after six because I’m really, really bad at it!   

Tell us a secret about yourself?

I suppose one secret everyone always asks me is about being a (Manchester) City fan and I always deny that to the death. But if I’m being deadly truthful, I did quite like them a bit when I was younger, because of my dad. So I used to support both City and (Manchester) United – if that’s even possible! I wouldn’t say I was a City fan, but I did like them. They were my guilty pleasure, when I was about eight.   

What is your most treasured possession?

Probably my (Manchester) United debut shirt. Obviously growing up in the youth team and 10-12 years in the making of trying to get there, when I finally did, I think that’s got to be up there with anything I could ever do. It’s framed in one of my rooms at home, with a little plaque under it, saying the date and who it was against (Newcastle). That means a lot to me to be fair. 

Who is the biggest star name in your phone book?

Rio Ferdinand. It’s got to be, given however many England caps he’s got. He’s been there and done it, so I’d have to say him.

What has been your most embarrassing moment?

Probably when I was in school, I remember playing football in the playground around this time of year and as I’ve gone to have a shot, I slipped on my left foot and knocked myself out! When I woke up, however long later, I was sat eating my dinner! I think I must have slipped on some ice, landed face first, out cold and when I woke up I was eating a sandwich!

Who do you most admire?

Probably Scholesy (Paul Scholes). Even though he’s not playing any more, when he was playing and the clips that you watch of him now, he was untouchable. You couldn’t get near him. So from my generation, he’s probably the best footballer that I’ve seen. Off the pitch as well, you never heard anything from him, he didn’t like the limelight, didn’t do any interviews and he was never in the bad eye of the public, so I think it’s got to be him.

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

I’d say my house first – I can’t be living in a scruffy house! And then it’s probably a close third for the other two, because I’m not too bothered about either. I’d say my boots, because I’m too lazy to get my car cleaned.  

Could you survive in the wild on your own?

I’d like to think so, because I’ve watched a lot of Bear Grylls. Saying that, I don’t remember half the stuff he’s said, but I reckon I could until I got rescued! 

What kind of people do you dislike?

I can’t stand to be around arrogant people, which is probably a familiar answer for everyone, but I’ve got no time for people like that.  

What makes you angry?

A lot of things – I’ve got a bad temper! A lot of stupid things really, like if I get beat on the PlayStation or if I’m playing online and I get a bad connection on the internet. Things like that make my blood boil! Obviously because I’ve got no control over it, stupid little things like that get me so angry.

How many close friends do you have?

Close friends, who I’ve known for a while and I trust with my life, I could probably count them on one hand. Obviously you make a lot of other friends, but I would say four or five close friends, who I met around school time and stuck with them for 8-10 years now and they come to all the games. They’re the people that I always hang around with. 

What is the funniest thing that you’ve seen recently?

Probably this morning (Tuesday) actually. I saw a guy slip on some ice as he was crossing the road. I was driving and I tried breaking and almost skidded into a car. Then just as I was driving off, this guy tried crossing the road and slipped right on his back. It was funny. Harsh, but funny! 

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

The best decision is probably signing for (Manchester) United, because it’s got me to where I am today. Deciding not be a ‘normal’ child if you will and putting everything into trying to be a footballer and making it. Worst decision I would have to say drink-driving. That was well-documented in the papers. Even though I didn’t intend to go out drink-driving – it was the day after – I could still have waited another day. So even though I didn’t mean to do it, it was probably still the worst decision that I’ve made, because of all the bad press that I got and I got banned from driving and it’s not good to have on your CV.    

What has been your most bizarre life experience?

I was on holiday in Turkey with my parents when I was about 12 or 13 and I saw a guy dive off a mountain into the sea and that blew my mind! He must have been about a mile up, it was that high, and he dived off, landed and then just popped back up. To this day, I can’t believe how he’s done that!   

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

I’m quite easily pleased to be honest, so I’m not too mithered. I’d probably like to do a sky dive, just the once. I’d like to go travelling, but that’s obviously got to wait until when I’ve retired. I wouldn’t mind either doing a tour of America or Route 66 in a campervan. Something just chilled out. Or I wouldn’t mind going to Australia somewhere. Finally, have a kid. I’ve always wanted children, so that would be something I’d like to do before I die.

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

Wigan rugby league. I’m a big fan of them. That was my first sport growing up, because my mum and dad both played it and that’s what I was brought up around, so I’d say Wigan Warriors. 

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

Yes, I’ve got a dog. A chocolate Labrador, two years old. I used to have a dog when I lived with my mum, but obviously I went to Peterborough and Ipswich, so I let my mum keep that dog. Then when I started living on my own, I got myself a dog as well. So I’m a big dog fan.

What last kept you awake at night?

The dog being sick probably! He’s had a bit of a bad stomach recently, so I can always hear him in the night retching, so obviously you have to go down and see him and clean him up.

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

Coach Carter. I watched it when I was younger and was just hooked. Honestly, I must have seen it at least 100 times! Whenever it’s on the telly, no matter what stage it’s at, I’ll always watch it.

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

It’s got to be (Shane) Duffy – he’s always angry with me and always shouting at me. He always likes to get on my back in training and in games especially. Even if I’m doing something good, I could always be doing something better.

What business would you love to start?

I wouldn’t mind getting into property. It would be nice to either buy houses and rent them out or buy houses and do them up. 

Did you have any other jobs when you were younger?

Nothing. Just football from the age of nine to the present.

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

No chance! I’m not too bad with directions. Once I’ve done something, I’ll be able to remember it, but if I had to do it straight off with a map, I don’t think so.

What are you most proud of?  

Again, probably my (Manchester) United debut. There’s about seven billion people on the earth and I reckon a big number of them would like to play for Man United, so to be sat here now saying that I have done that, it doesn’t get much better.

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

Probably just chill out. It’s not the most fun thing to do, but it’s a hard season and you train everyday, so it’s just nice to get up when you want, have a lie on the couch and take the day as it comes.

What is the weirdest thing you have ever eaten?

Probably mussels or an oyster. I didn’t enjoy that! It was clinging to my throat all the way down! I could never eat one of them again.

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

Probably walking the dog. Even though I bought him and I love him, having to find the motivation to get up and take him out at about six or seven o’clock, especially now that we’re in winter when it’s freezing, is annoying, but it’s got to be done.  

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

The telly. If I didn’t have the telly, I wouldn’t know what to do with myself around the house. I’d be sat there staring at the wall and would probably go insane after a couple of days!

Would you rather...

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


… 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.

... 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?

Sky diving.

… have a chef or a cleaner?


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