A brand new feature where we get to know the person behind the player...
What’s your earliest memory?
My earliest memory? I can’t even remember what I did yesterday! Probably my first day at school, when I was about five. It was a school called St Anne’s, back home in Ireland. I was really nervous and I actually fell down the stairs … that wasn’t good!
What sort of child were you?
A daft one. I just didn’t think! I used to mess about and always had paint all over my face and things like that.
What are you best at outside of football?
I like sports. I’m playing golf at the minute, so I’d probably say that, but I was good at Gaelic football when I was growing up. I had to choose between that and football. I was only 15, but I was playing in the Minor Championship and I reckon I could have gone on to a higher level.
What would you like to be better at?
Golf. I play off 18 at the moment, but I’ve only just started out.
Tell us a secret about yourself?
I failed my driving theory test 12 times! There’s one for you. I’m gutted I just told you that! But then I passed my actual driving test first time.
What is your most treasured possession?
Probably my first cap for Ireland. I’ve got it framed in my house, with my shirt and boots. It was against Costa Rica earlier this year.
Who is the biggest star name in your phone book?
Giovanni Trapattoni. I only worked with him twice – his methods were a bit strange, but he was good.
What has been your most embarrassing moment?
Probably failing my theory test so many times. In football, probably just having a bad game in front of people or scoring an own goal, although I don’t think I’ve ever scored an own goal in professional football. I’ve deflected one, but I’ve never scored one – touch wood! It’s just embarrassing when you lose on the football pitch isn’t it? That’s it really.
Who do you most admire?
Just my mum and dad really. My parents and my family. Because they’ve always been there, since day one.
Your room, your football boots and your car – which do you clean first?
I’ll leave my car til last. Your football boots are your tools, so probably them first, after training. Then my room, then car. I’m generally quite a clean and tidy person to be fair.
Could you survive in the wild on your own?
No chance! I can’t do all that Bear Grylls stuff, it’s not for me. I don’t think I’d survive for very long!
What kind of people do you dislike?
Arrogant people. People who think that they’re better than you. People who think that they can look down on you, just because they’ve done something different to you. Or cocky people – it’s people like that I don’t like.
What makes you angry?
Losing football games. Traffic! Oh, I don’t like traffic! My missus! She makes me angry … sometimes. I don’t really get angry much. When I don’t play I get angry!
How many close friends do you have?
Three. My best mate who I grew up with back home, my best mate since I’ve been in England, for the past seven years, and then my cousin, who I’m close to.
What is the funniest thing that has happened to you or that you have witnessed recently?
It was probably when I was at Everton, involving the hot-tubs in the changing room. Leon Osman and Leighton Baines put shampoo in it and the bubbles went all over the changing room. When the cleaners walked in, they couldn’t even see the changing room! It was like a big steam room, but with bubbles! It was funny at the time, I enjoyed that one.
What is the worst/best decision you have ever made?
The best decision is probably signing for Everton when I was 16. I had offers from other clubs – and bigger clubs – but they gave me a chance in my football career. Everton was the right choice at the time, so it was probably the best choice, because I probably wouldn’t have got as far if I’d gone somewhere else. The worst decision is probably buying a car once – but I won’t tell you which one!
What has been your most bizarre life experience?
My injury when I nearly died, whilst playing for Ireland when I was 17. I was about to make my debut against Paraguay and we played a little friendly game and I just collided with the goalkeeper and ruptured my liver and nearly died. So I have a different outlook on life now.
What are three things that you would like to do before you die?
Get back in the Premier League, go to space and I’d like to sky dive.
What team(s) do you support outside of football?
I don’t really support anyone outside of football. I follow Celtic. I grew up watching them. The area I’m from is full of Celtic fans, so I just always followed them growing up.
Are you an animal person? Do you have any pets?
Yes, I love my dogs. I’ve got two Shar Pei dogs and they’re coming over this week when I get my new house, so I can’t wait to get them back.
What last kept you awake at night?
I’m a good sleeper to be fair. There was thunder and lightning a few weeks ago and it was right by my window and I couldn’t sleep for ages. That was bad.
What is the toughest decision you had to make in the last few months?
Obviously leaving Everton to come here was a big decision, but I think it was a good decision for me. It was tough at the time, because Everton raised me and brought me up, but hopefully it turns out to be the right decision.
What film, no matter how many times you’ve seen it, do you have to watch when it’s on?
I love Step Brothers. I know it inside-out now, I’ve watched it that many times. I just laugh so much at it.
Tell me about the last time a team-mate got angry with you. What happened?
I don’t think people really get angry with me. You have little arguments with your centre-half, but that’s it really. I had a couple of scuffles in my time at Everton, but nothing major.
What business would you love to start?
Everyone says they would open a bar, but I don’t think I’d like a bar. I’d like to have a business about something, but I don’t know what. Maybe a car business or something like that.
Did you have any other jobs when you were younger?
No. I wouldn’t get a job now if I had to! I was quite lucky to be fair. I went to play for Derry City when I was younger and that was a good experience for me, and then I moved over here when I was 15, so I’ve never had a job.
Could you find your way around a foreign country using just a map?
It would take me a while, but I would get there in the end, I think. I’m actually not bad with maps. Geography is one of the few GCSEs I passed!
What are you most proud of?
Being here. Coming here was a proud moment for me. And hopefully there’ll be more to come.
What is your idea of fun? If given a chance to skip training for a day, how would you spend your day off?
I just like chilling really. On my days off, I like going for something to eat with the lads, then maybe go to the cinema. Just chill. Maybe a game of poker. I like a game of poker with the lads. They all come round to my house and play poker. There’s about eight of us and it’s good fun.
What is the weirdest thing you have ever eaten?
I went to Thailand this summer and I don’t even know what it was! I think it was a frog! It was nasty and I was sick for two days! It was the most unpleasant thing I’ve ever had!
If you could eliminate one thing from your daily schedule, what would it be and why?
Warm-ups. Cut them out and get straight to training, every day! I hate them. I just want to get going straight away.
What's the one thing you can't live without?
My family. I can’t live without them. I’m not from a big family, I’m just a family person. And my dogs – I love my dogs!
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?
Live without my laptop.
… be able to fly whenever you want or be invisible?
Fly whenever I want.
… 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?
... 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?
Both! Only joking – a chef, because I can’t cook!