Christian Walton is next in line to step up to the plate in our 'Football Origins' feature...
We sat down with the goalkeeper to discuss his career so far, his firsts, his favourites and much more.
This piece was in a recent matchday programme.
First Football Memory
It would probably be going down to a mini soccer on a Saturday morning with my brother and just getting chucked in goal straight away because I was a big lad for my age.
Team You Supported Growing Up
I was a massive Plymouth Argyle fan. I had a season ticket from the age of seven or eight right through to the age of 14. And then when I was 14 I had to stop because I was in with the Academy at Plymouth, so I couldn’t go on a Saturday anymore, which was a shame.
First Game You Attended
It was at Plymouth against Carlisle. I went in the club shop beforehand and got a little shirt and I was absolutely delighted to be at a big ground because I had never experienced it before.
First Football Shirt Owned
A Plymouth Argyle one. That shirt that I bought that day, it had a name and number of one of the goalkeepers on the back and I kept it for years! I ended up getting it signed by the 2002 promotion-winning team and I’ve still got it at home now, framed!
First Pair Of Football Boots
Funnily enough, I was talking to my brother about this the other day! I think they were called Arrow. I’d never heard of the make before, because I was only about five or six, but they were my first ones.
My favourite player growing up was probably a Plymouth player, a goalkeeper called Romain Larrieu. I used to love him! I used to get to the ground at two o’clock and watch his matchday warm-up and would be buzzing. Premier League at the time, I’d probably say Edwin van der Sar.
First Junior Team
Weybridge Town. It’s the town where I grew up. I was only about six at the time and I started playing for their Under-7s. I got put straight in goal for my first game and the rest is history!
Age You Were Scouted
I was 10 years old and I got invited to a Plymouth Argyle Development Centre, which was near where I lived. I went there for a six-week trial and then after that I was asked to go to the Centre of Excellence at Plymouth on a Tuesday and a Thursday, for a four-week trial, and then I got signed. So I was at Plymouth from age 10 to 17.
It was for Brighton in the Carabao Cup against Tottenham at White Hart Lane. It was a Tuesday night game and I was training with the first team on the Monday and I was third in line to play. David Stockdale then broke his finger in training that day and Casper Ankergren was the other goalkeeper, but the manager told me I’d be starting and I couldn’t really believe it! I got straight on the phone to my dad and he managed to make it up from Cornwall and he brought my grandad as well, so it was an unbelievable day. To play at such an historic ground and against a Premier League outfit, it was brilliant.
Best Memory in Football
I’ve got a few. Probably at Wigan – beating Manchester City was good, because they’re the best team in Europe in my eyes, so to beat them, on TV, it was a whirlwind experience really. The other one would be making my debut for Brighton.
Best Advice Ever Received
Just your attitude and application towards football I think. You see so many talented players that don’t have the attitude to come to training and I was told at a young age that’s what will get you that extra step in football or whatever you do in life. That was from the Head of Academy at Plymouth, who I still keep in touch with now.
Advice For Young Players
I’d say enjoy it really. Don’t look too far ahead and play with a smile on your face.