What’s your earliest memory?
It’s a football one. I remember going with my mum and my brother to McDiarmid Park to watch my dad play for St. Johnstone. I can’t remember who they were playing or what time of year it was, but I can picture being sat there in the stands cheering him on. I was about three at the time, possibly even younger.
What sort of child were you?
Early on I was a little terror. I was a bit of a livewire as a toddler. Probably up until about three or four and then after that I calmed down and you couldn’t really get many words out of me or much conversation.
What are you best at outside of football?
I tend to beat Tom Cairney and Ben Marshall on the pool table most days. In fact I tend to beat Ben at most things! I beat him on the golf course and even on the go-karting track recently. So in general, what I’m best at is beating Ben Marshall!
What would you like to be better at?
I’d like to be better at golf. I’ve got a handicap of 12 at the moment, but I’d like to get a bit better and get down to single figures. Josh Morris is a good friend of mine and he’s very good, so I’d like to catch up to him.
Tell us a secret about yourself?
It’s a little bit embarrassing, but I’ve got a soft spot for reality TV. I won’t lie, I watch nearly all of them! I guess they are just easy watching and they are all on series link on my Sky Plus.
What is your most treasured possession?
My dog, Ruby. She’s a black Labrador. She’s my pride and joy, my princess.
Who is the biggest star name in your phone book?
I’ll say Joe Royle. Our family has been quite close to Joe since he hired my dad as goalkeeping coach down at Ipswich Town. We actually moved in with him and his wife Janet for six months when I was about 15 years old. It was good for me at that age to be with someone who was not only a manager, but also a former striker. He gave me some good advice and let me know what he demanded from a striker.
What has been your most embarrassing moment?
Missing the penalty against Huddersfield. I felt as if I’d let everyone down. It wasn’t the first one I’d missed, but the points were there for the taking, so I was very disappointed.
Who do you most admire?
My dad. While I was growing up he was doing what I had always wanted to do for a living. He was my inspiration and the one I always looked up to. I’m lucky enough to go out now and copy what he did.
Your house, your football boots and your car – which do you clean first?
My house, football boots, then car. I get told off by my dad most days for not keeping my car as clean as I should, but I take most pride in keeping my house clean.
Could you survive in the wild on your own?
Yeah, absolutely. I probably don’t have the skills to do that if I’m honest, but I’d find a way. I’ve been watching the TV series Lost recently, so I could take something from that! I reckon I could cope.
What kind of people do you dislike?
Arrogant people. People that think too much of themselves. I just don’t think there’s any need to be rude in life. I think it’s important to be well-mannered and down to earth, because at the end of the day, whatever you’re doing – especially in this business – is going to stop one day, whilst the values you are brought up on last throughout life. I think that’s important to remember.
What makes you angry?
On Friday nights before games, especially away games, Marshy brings his PS4 and we get together in our rooms and play FIFA. That’s the one he can beat me at, for now! That gets me angry.
How many close friends do you have?
Outside of the club I wouldn’t say too many. Other than team-mates and other people I have come across in football, I’d say probably none. I had seven different schools when I was younger and we moved about a lot. I suppose that was a good way of preparing me for the life of football, you’re never too settled in an area, because there is so much moving about.
What is the best decision you have ever made?
The best decision I have ever made is to represent Scotland at international level. As soon as the eligibility kicked in for the five years of schooling rule, we jumped on that and snapped their hand off. I was always keen to play international football, so when Billy Stark gave me that chance for the Under-21s, it was great. I probably wouldn’t be here today playing for Blackburn Rovers if it wasn’t for him. I learnt a lot in that set-up.
What has been your most bizarre life experience?
I’d probably say moving to Huddersfield from Ipswich. I wouldn’t really class it as bizarre, but moving up there on my own and having to cope by myself for a while was a big change. My family moved up later and they are still there now.
What are three things that you would like to do before you die?
I’d like to visit a few places in America – New York, Las Vegas – and do some sightseeing there. I’d love to play golf at Augusta, where they hold the Masters. I’d like to play in a major tournament for Scotland, but that’s more of an ambition, so I won’t count that. (Enter Ben Marshall) “Beat me at FIFA!” I’ve already said that! I’ll say go to watch the tennis at Wimbledon.
What team(s) do you support outside of football?
None really. I don’t even support any other football teams. It was just always where my dad was at the time. I probably look for Sheffield Wednesday’s results after ours, but other than that there’s none really.
What last kept you awake at night?
Missing that penalty. I’ve had many a sleepless night since then. It’s just a matter of trying to put it behind me now. I’m not quite there yet, but I’m doing my best to get over it.
What film, no matter how many times you’ve seen it, do you have to watch when it’s on?
Probably – because I can relate to it – Stepbrothers. I have a younger brother who is a similar age to myself, so watching that makes me laugh.
Tell me about the last time a team-mate got angry with you. What happened?
Again, I’ll probably say Tom and Ben on the pool table. I’m quite a calm person and I don’t get angry, so apart from when I beat them at pool (and hopefully soon FIFA!) people don’t tend to get angry with me.
What business would you love to start?
I’d love to invent something that lasts the course of time. Something that was a unique idea to you that other people would be able to use and adapt to themselves.
Did you have any other jobs when you were younger?
No. I’ve always been determined and focused on becoming a footballer. Even on my work experience I went to Ipswich Town for two weeks and trained with them.
Could you find your way around a foreign country using just a map?
Yeah, I’d be quite confident in that. I do use my sat nav around here, but I’d like to think I could find my way around abroad.
What are you most proud of?
I’m very proud to have played for Scotland as many times as I have.
What is your idea of fun? If given a chance to skip training for a day, how would you spend your day off?
I’d go for a game of golf with anyone that would have me! We have this four-ball going at the moment, it’s me and Stewart Welsh (masseur) against Marshy and Neil Fitzhenry (physio). It’s very even at the moment. I thinks it actually 2-2, so we need to get a decider in before the end of the season. It does get very heated at times, but it’s great fun.
What is the weirdest thing you have ever eaten?
When I first had sushi – that was quite funny tasting. I think after you’ve had it a few times, you get used to it and I’m certainly a big fan of it now.
If you could eliminate one thing from your daily schedule, what would it be and why?
The commute to work. I don’t live too far away, but I’m quite a safe driver at the best of times and I don’t tend to go quite as fast as some of the other lads. I come from Ormskirk, but because I’m a slow, steady driver – as most people here will tell you – it takes me a bit longer.
What’s the one thing you can’t live without?
My loved ones. That includes my family, my girlfriend and my dog! We are very close.
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?
Invisible, because I’m scared of heights.
… 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?
Into the past. That would be interesting.
... be rich and ugly or poor and good looking?
Rich and ugly.
… go sky diving or deep-sea diving?
Deep sea diving because I quite like fish. I’ve got an aquarium at home.
… have a chef or a cleaner?