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‘Getting Personal’ with Craig Conway

27 October 2014

Craig Conway 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?

Kicking about a football outside my house. My mum and dad bought me a ball and I just loved it. We were watching some family videos back recently and there was one where we went to a big park and I was kicking a ball around the whole time. I was about three or four years old at the time.

What sort of child were you?

A little bit mischievous. I would get into a bit of trouble when I was younger. I wasn’t a bad lad, I was just the one that got caught out! My dad would always tell me ‘don’t you do anything wrong because you always get caught!’

What are you best at outside of football?

Hopefully that’s being a dad. I don’t really have many hobbies. I like golf, but I don’t get the chance to play it a lot.

What would you like to be better at?

Well, I’ll probably say golf then! When I do play I really enjoy it. A few of the lads here play, but I just find it so frustrating at times.

Tell us a secret about yourself?

I’m a fully qualified hairdresser. When I started out in football I played part-time and worked the rest of the time at my family’s hairdressers. I would even work in the shop on the morning of games until midday. I haven’t cut anyone’s hair here at Rovers, but I have done at other clubs in the past. I tend to try and avoid it now.

What is your most treasured possession?

I’d say either my Scottish Cup winners’ medal for Dundee or Championship winners’ medal with Cardiff. Or maybe my first Scotland cap. One of those. 

Who is the biggest star name in your phone book?

Probably Craig Bellamy from our time together at Cardiff. Actually, I’d better say Dunny!

What has been your most embarrassing moment?

There is one time that stands out. I was walking the dog in the park once and he went down to do his business as they do. Unfortunately, earlier in the day, he had eaten a pair of tights and they didn’t fully ‘come out’, so I had to pull them out myself in front of a group of school kids, much to their amusement!

Who do you most admire?

Stephen McPhail, who I played alongside at Cardiff. He had cancer and he just kept going through it all, training everyday. We take a lot of things for granted and it shows that at the end of the day football isn’t the most important thing in the world. The way he just got on with things and never let it get him down was inspirational. 

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

My house probably. My wife does a good job at keeping the house in order and I look after the kitchen, that’s my domain. 

Could you survive in the wild on your own?

Yeah, I think I could. I like animals though so I don’t know if I could kill any to survive. I think I’d have to live on a vegetarian diet and just eat plants.

What kind of people do you dislike?

I dislike cocky people. I don’t like people who constantly have to tell you what they’ve got and what they’ve done. I really don’t like that.

What makes you angry?

Smoking. I hate smoking. And traffic wardens too!

How many close friends do you have?

I’d say that I have quite a few. In football you meet a lot of different people, but there are still lads that I met early in my career that I’m still really close to. And of course I have friends back home in Scotland. 

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

Rooming with Luke Varney on the pre-season trip to Portugal. I can’t say much, but it involved a fire extinguisher! 

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

In terms of worst decision, I think you learn from your mistakes, so I don’t think there is any decision that I would say I really regret. There are plenty of occasions in this business when you have to make decisions and I feel that I’ve made the right one each time. And best decision … marrying my wife. She’ll be pleased to read that!

What has been your most bizarre life experience?

I think moving out of the family home for the first time. Having to fend for myself was very strange at first. Things I took for granted like washing clothes, washing up dishes, paying bills, cooking – I had to learn to do it all myself. I moved quite far away and it was a big reality check.

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

I like to go to Australia, have more children and finally, win another league medal – hopefully here.

What other team(s) do you support?

Celtic. I had a season ticket up there for six or seven years. I’ve followed them since I was young and I still keep track of their results. 

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

Yes I am. I have a dog as you already know! He’s a boxer called Buster. Eight years old and still crazy!

What last kept you awake at night?

The baby. He’s not too bad really, but when he was teething it was a bit more hard work.

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

I think when I was leaving Cardiff and my contract was running out, I was lucky enough to have one or two options. It was a tough decision in my life, but I’m sure I made the right one and I’m very happy here.

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

Dumb and Dumber. Without a shadow of a doubt. I’ve easily watched it 20 times. It’s just one of those that I can watch over and over.

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

I just get on with things really, I don’t tend to fall out with people or pick arguments. Although there was a coach at Cardiff and I had a bit of an argument with him, but that’s probably the last time. If someone has a go I tend to just let it slide. People get frustrated on the pitch and in training, but I just leave it there.

What business would you love to start?

I actually already have a property business and I’m really interested in that. I do a course on it too, so I can learn more about it. It’s possibly something I’d like to get more into after I hang up my boots.

Did you have any other jobs when you were younger?

I’ve had plenty of jobs. Obviously there was the hairdressing, but I also worked in TK Maxx, I was a window cleaner, a painter and decorator – although I only lasted two weeks at that one! I do get quite a lot of grief from the family about how many jobs I had before football.

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

My wife would say no, because I’m not great with directions. I tend to just stick something into the sat nav and let it take me there. I think I’m getting better with old age though. I’m sure if I had a map I’d be able to read it.

What are you most proud of?

Being a dad. It’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me. When people tell you about it you can never really understand it until it happens to you. It’s such a good feeling. As well as pulling on a football strip for a living, having kids is something I have always wanted to do. 

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

Probably at the gym. I don’t like missing training and I hate being injured. I hate not being involved. So I’d probably do some sort of fitness.

What is the weirdest thing you have ever eaten?

I would say a deep-fried Mars bar. It doesn’t sound right, but it’s actually really nice. I can recommend it.

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

There’s not much I don’t like doing or else I wouldn’t do it. Although I’d like to get rid of the traffic in the morning. That annoys me. Sitting in traffic is definitely one of my pet hates.

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

I’ve already mentioned my wife and my son, so I’ll say my laptop. I use it a lot, especially on away trips to watch box sets and use it for the internet and my emails.



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?

TV. You can watch TV on your laptop so I can get around it that way.

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

Fly.

… 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?

In the past. I’d go back and invent something that I know about now and be a millionaire! 

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

Poor and ugly… wait, poor and good looking I mean!

… go sky diving or deep-sea diving?

Sky diving. 

… have a chef or a cleaner?

A cleaner because I like cooking myself.

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