What’s your earliest memory?
Probably a little bit of nursery I’d say. I can vaguely remember the school and the setup. They had a little den at the top of the classroom. I remember I always wanted to climb up to the top of it and hide up there and mess about. I would have been about three years old and that’s my earliest memory.
What sort of child were you?
My mum would probably say a nuisance! Always active, never giving my mum a minute’s rest, always wanting to do something – kick a ball, climb the curtains, anything! Anything that involved a bit of mischief really!
What are you best at outside of football?
I play the lads here a lot at pool. Some of them give me a good game, but I’m pretty dominant most of the time. They all want to play me, they all want to be my doubles partner. So I’d say pool, because I’m quite strong at that.
What would you like to be better at?
Golf, most definitely! When the weather’s decent, we play golf quite a bit. I’m sure a few of the lads here will tell you that I can lose my head quite easily! I might get a birdie one hole and then a 20 the next! But I enjoy playing it. We’ve got a good bunch of lads and we get a game whenever we can, but I just wish I was a lot better at it than I am.
Tell us a secret about yourself?
For my first job I did a milk round and a paper round at about. I was just a young kid, about 14 or 15, getting £10 a week for delivering the milk and the papers at about 5am or 6am in the morning. It was an early start, but I needed to get some pocket money.
Who is the biggest star name in your phone book?
I’ll go Rhodesy! He’s a big name isn’t he? He’s a top lad, bangs goals for fun, so I’d probably say he’s the biggest name that I’ve got.
What has been your most embarrassing moment?
Flippin’ heck where do I start? There’s been plenty of them! Crashing into that tree at the team hotel the other week is well up there! I thought I was going to win 50 quid that day and it ended up the joke was on me! All the lads knew that Shorty was going to crack me over the head! I told him afterwards that I would prefer to run into a tree than be hit by him – I think it would hurt less!
Who do you most admire?
Probably Ronaldo and Messi – they’re the two best players in the world and probably the two best that have ever lived. They’re consistently unbelievable week-in week-out, they never let up and I think every footballer has the ultimate respect for those two. They perform at the highest level week-in week-out and they never fail.
Your room, your football boots and your car – which do you clean first?
They all get neglected to be fair! I’d probably say my football boots, but I’m pretty lucky to have a couple of good kit men, so they get well treated here! So it’s not mainly down to myself, it’s mainly down to them. Then I’d say my room. I’m not perfect, but I like to keep that quite tidy. And then my car just gets neglected – it gets once a year treatment if it’s lucky … a token vac!
Could you survive in the wild on your own?
Yes, I reckon I could do. I think I’d quite like being in the wild, so the thought of cooking your own meals and looking after yourself with no TV and no technology would be something I’d cope with quite well.
What kind of people do you dislike?
Arrogant people, people that comes across thinking that they’re better than others, big-headed people and people that are just all for themselves rather than thinking of others – I’ve not really got any time for people like that.
What makes you angry?
Losing. I’m a bad loser. I try to bottle it up sometimes and just try to take it on the chin, but losing makes me angry. And when I’m stuck in traffic jams I’m not the friendliest. I can be a bit hot-headed and use the horn a bit too much now and then! Those two things are probably the worst for me.
How many close friends do you have?
Good question. I could probably count them on one hand, so I’d say about five. They’re all very good friends of mine and you know you can rely on them whenever you need to. One or two I’ve met through football and one or two I’ve grown up with since I was young and luckily we’ve stayed in touch. They’ll be friends for life for sure.
What is the funniest thing that has happened to you recently?
Well it didn’t happen to me, but it happened to Simon Eastwood the other day and that tickled me. We went on an army-style activity day, where you had to jump on a mat and then push the mat forward, and Easty went up first then completely missed the mat and smashed his face and chest on the concrete. He got up as if he was alright and kept a brave face, but deep down he was hurting and the lads were just in tears!
What is the worst/best decision you have ever made?
The best decision is probably buying a house at an early age. Anyone who can get into property I think it’s a great idea, as soon as you can. You get a good return on it, so I think it’s a good thing to do if you can do it. Worst decision is probably buying an Audi. I thought I’d be a bit flash at the time, so got a nice car, but ended up making a big loss on it and crashed it as well!
What are three things that you would like to do before you die?
I would like to go travelling down Australia. That’s one of the big things of mine. I don’t know why, I’ve just got this thing about going there and seeing what the place is like, because there seems to be so many Brits who go down there and all you hear is good things. Second one, even though I’m scared of heights, I’d like to do a sky-dive, to try and conquer my fear and I think the adrenaline rush when you jump out would be extraordinary, so that appeals to me. The third thing I’d like to do is go on a safari. I’ve always been really interested in different kinds of animals and seeing them up close and personal out in the wild is something I’d really want to do.
What team(s) do you support outside of football?
I quite like rugby league. A couple of lads from the Oldham area play rugby league at a good level, so I follow that. When I was younger, I played a little bit, but obviously I got shoved out on the wing because I was a skinny fast lad. And I quite like golf, especially the big tournaments like the Masters and The Open. I’d like to go to one of them one day.
Are you an animal person? Do you have any pets?
Yes, I’m very big on animals. I just have the one pet – a cat. When I retire I’d like a dog, but at the minute I just don’t think I’d have the time to look after a dog properly and take it for walks and all the things you need to do.
What last kept you awake at night?
Not long ago, when I fell asleep, I heard a bit of banging outside and if I hear any banging, I shoot up straight away out of bed. Any little noise will wake me up. So I went to the back window to have a look, but in the end there was nothing there. It was probably just a bit of wind blowing the fence over. So I just got back in bed and went to sleep. I always feel pretty stupid!
What film, no matter how many times you’ve seen it, do you have to watch when it’s on TV?
The Hangover, for sure. Number one or number two. Not particularly number three. Mainly number one, if that’s on the telly I have to watch it. It’s probably one of the funniest films I’ve ever seen.
Tell me about the last time a team-mate got angry with you. What happened?
Take your pick – I think they all get angry with me at some point! The funniest one the lads will remember was when me and Bryan Dabo had a bit of a spat when he was here last year. He just absolutely volleyed me from behind, I’ve got up and reacted and then he’s gone to kung-fu kick me, but all the lads got in and split it up. Then afterwards we shook hands and it was all forgotten about.
What business would you love to start?
Maybe a restaurant, with your own food, your own ideas and your own style. That would interest me. I spoke to Tony Grant about it a few weeks back and he’s got his own restaurant, so that could appeal to me after football.
Did you have any other jobs when you were younger?
Just the paper round and the milk round. Apart from that, I went to college and did BTEC National, but I wasn’t the brightest of lads, so I was in the bottom group and it was half a mess-about and half work. I got the qualification, but luckily football came good for me.
Could you find your way around a foreign country using just a map?
Using just a map? No, probably not. I’m not the best with maps. Give me a sat nav and I’m all good all day, but if you give me a map, I’ll be lost within a few minutes. I’d have it upside down, inside out – I’d have no chance!
What are you most proud of?
Probably getting to the FA Cup semi-final a few years back. Playing at Wembley is probably the proudest moment I’ve ever had in football and it will stick with me for a long time.
What is your idea of fun? If given a chance to skip training for a day, how would you spend your day off?
Just have a bit of a laugh with my mates. Have a game of snooker, maybe have a couple of drinks, watch the football, anything really – I’m always up for a laugh.
What is the weirdest thing you have ever eaten?
I would say either crocodile or snails. Take your pick from those two! I ate crocodile at a restaurant just outside of Oldham a few years back, but to me it didn’t taste any different to chicken! It was nice. However, I wasn’t a big fan of snails! I went with my girlfriend to Paris and had a few of them to start with, but I couldn’t really get to grips with them. I ate them, but I don’t think I’d go back for seconds!
If you could eliminate one thing from your daily schedule, what would it be and why?
Wake up in the morning. I’m pretty useless at waking up in the morning. I wish I could wake up in fresh condition every morning, but it never seems to happen, no matter how many hours sleep I get beforehand. I always wake up in a mood and grumpy for the first half-an-hour, so I’d love to wake up with a spring in my step out of bed.
What's the one thing you can't live without?
Probably my mobile phone unfortunately. It’s a sign of the times isn’t it? Everyone’s always on their phone, always texting, always ringing someone, going on the internet – they’re like computers almost. My phone’s glued to my hand a lot of the day, so I’d say that’s the one thing I couldn’t live without.
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, ugly car.
... visit the world 1,000 years into the past or 1,000 years into the future?
Into the past.
... be rich and ugly or poor and good looking?
Poor and good looking.
… go sky diving or deep-sea diving?
… have a chef or a cleaner?