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A-Z: Danny Graham

This season, we're introducing a new feature, bringing Rovers fans that bit closer to members of the current first-team squad.

9 January 2019

This season, we're introducing a new feature, bringing Rovers fans that bit closer to members of the current first-team squad.

The idea is simple: 26 questions, one for each letter of the alphabet, with subjects ranging from the players' favourite holiday destinations to the strangest things they've ever seen.

This feature was in the recent programme against West Bromwich Albion.

Danny Graham steps up to the plate to discuss fitting windows, why he’s better than Thierry Henry, a team-mate’s fringe and much more in this A-Z!

A – AWAY -What is your favourite away ground that you've played at?

I’ve been fortunate to have played in a number of great stadiums throughout my career. I think of playing Sporting Lisbon away in the UEFA Cup being a great occasion. But in terms of atmosphere, I remember playing Liverpool at Anfield during my time with Swansea, it was amazing. We drew 0-0 and they had Luis Suarez up front, so it was a good point for us in the end! You’d rather have Graham up front than Suarez, wouldn’t you? All day long!

B – BANTER – Who's got the best banter in the squad?

That’s a tough one. We have a few candidates – Charlie, Dacky, Bull, myself. He acts like the skipper around the place, so not many people see Charlie’s banter, but in the changing room he’s very good. I’ll go with my mate Dacky though. He constantly makes people laugh, he’s always hyper and is great to have around the place.

C – CLUB – What football team do you support?

I think it was well documented when I went to Sunderland that I was a big Newcastle United supporter. These days I’m not too fussed, but growing up I used to go to St James’ Park quite a lot.

D – DINING – What would be your last three-course meal?

It would have to be calamari for starter. Well done steak with chunky chips for the main and apple crumble with custard to finish things off!

E – EVENINGS – A quiet night in or a night out with the lads? Why?

It’s a bit of both. It’s different going out with the lads than it is with the missus, so I like a bit of both. Variety is the spice of life!

F – FOREIGN – What's your favourite holiday destination and why?

Can I have two? I went to Dubai with the missus and it was great. It had the culture and the weather. With the boys we went to Las Vegas in the summer and that was a very special trip.

G – GAME – What's been your favourite football game you've ever played in?

That’s a tough one. There is a lot to choose from. The Sheffield Wednesday game this season stands out for obvious reasons. But I’d have to go for Swansea 3-2 Arsenal at the Liberty Stadium. Thierry Henry was back at Arsenal on loan but didn’t score. I remember that I scored that day, so Graham over Henry, right?…. No, it’s got to be Henry!

H – HOBBIES – What do you like to get up to away from football?

I spend a lot of time with my three kids, and I like to play a bit of golf as well. We have a good golf school here of five or six when the weather is nice. Joe Rothwell is the best. He should play off lower than what he does and should be single figures. I play off 18.

I – IDOL – Who was your favourite footballer as a youngster and why?

Easy. Alan Shearer. Growing up in the north-east, what he did in the Premier League was phenomenal and was desperate to score goals. He was ruthless when he was in front of goal.

J – JOBS – Have you had any other jobs aside from playing football?

This might catch a few people out! Before I signed for Middlesbrough as a youth team player, I was working at a windows, doors and conservatories company. I was fitting all sorts and did it for about nine months. I got into it through my mum’s connections. She knew someone from where she worked and when I left school I wanted to get straight into something. If I wasn’t a footballer I would have tried to be a fireman.

K – KID – What were you like as a young boy?

Exactly what I’m like at 33! I was hyper, active, always playing sport and could never sit still.

L – LOATH – What annoys you the most and why?

Can I say Richie Smallwood? He’s good at every sport and it really annoys me. He has a knack of being good at pool, darts, football, golf. Whatever he does he’s good at! Traffic really annoys me as well, especially when I get hit with a traffic jam on the A59.

M – MUSIC – What sort of music are you into and what's your favourite ever tune?

The Killers – Mr Brightside is my favourite song. I listen to anything really. [Ryan] Nyambe has his iPod on in the changing room and I enjoy some of his tunes. If I had my way though there would be a few Elvis tunes on there.

N – NICKNAME – What's the best nickname you've come across in your footballing career?

Adam Armstrong. We call him Ruler Fringe. His fringe is so straight. I’ve never seen anything like it! Ben Brereton has been battered enough in these features so we’ll leave Coco Pop Neck out of it….

O – OPTIMISM – What would you like to achieve in your career?

It would be unbelievable to get Blackburn Rovers back in the Premier League. If I could help achieve that before I retire then I’ll be a very happy man. Have I still got time to play for England?...

P – PETS – Do you have any pets?

No, I’ve never had any pets and have never thought about it. The kids are on at me to get a dog but there’s no way that will be happening!

Q – QUALITY – Who's the best player you've ever played with or against and why?

I played with Gylfi Sigurdsson at Swansea when he joined us on loan. He had unbelievable technique so I’ll go with him. The best I’ve played against would have to be Steven Gerrard. He was an unbelievable midfielder with a fantastic will to win.

R – RAPID – Who's the quickest player you've played with or against?

DeAndre Yedlin is the quickest player I have played with. He was with me at Sunderland and was so quick. Against? That’s a tough one. You don’t see too many quick centre backs. I’d probably go for Kyle Walker.

S – STRANGE – What's the strangest thing you've seen in your life?

I’ve seen a few strange things at this football club! Ben Brereton has been mentioned and hammered a few times, Arma’s fringe is strange, Richie going in goal at West Brom was strange. It would be one of those three, but let’s get on Arma and his fringe!

T – TELEVISION – What do you like to watch on the TV and why?

I like to watch documentaries on Netflix. I’ve watched The Staircase recently and that was excellent. Things like that are right up my street.

U – UNKNOWN – Tell us something that people don't know about you.

I do a lot of charity work. I’m a patron at a charity that is called Heel and Toe*. It helps raise money for kids with cerebral palsy. It’s based in Chester-le-Street and I’ve been a patron there since 2010.

V – VIDEO GAMES – Do you own a games console and if so how often do you play it?

Absolutely not! I don’t have time and haven’t owned a video console for about five or six years now. I can’t even remember the last time I’ve played on one. I’ve sat and watched Arma and Bezza [Brereton] play Fortnite, but it’s not for me. Gone are the days!

W – WORLD – Where would you most like to visit in your life?

Australia. I always wanted to go there when I was younger and it’s something I’ve mentioned to the missus. I’d like to go to somewhere like Sydney or Brisbane.

X – XYLOPHONE – Can you play any musical instruments?

[Laughs] Absolutely not! I’m no good at instruments. I’d probably give it a go but I’d imagine I’d be terrible at anything musical. I’d like to try the guitar one day when I retire.

Y – YIKES – Do you have a fear of anything?

Spiders. Despite wanting to go to Australia I have a massive fear of spiders, no matter how big or small they are.

Z – ZODIAC – What's your star sign?

I was born on August 12th and Leo is my star sign.

* To find out more about Danny’s association with Heel and Toe, please visit www.heelandtoe.org.uk.


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