WHO ARE YA? Rich Johnson, The Football Attic

 

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1) Who are ya?

Rich Johnson, 39, All round good guy 😉

2) Who do you support?

Coventry City…my home team, who else?

3) What was your first game?

Last game of the 95/96 season – a bore draw with Leeds

4) What do you do for a job?

My official title is IT Systems Development Manager…make of that what you will 😉

5) Have you played/worked for any football clubs?

In short, no…In long…nooooooooo…

6) How did you get into blogging?

I’d had a few abortive attempts a few years ago, but it never seemed to work out. At the same time, I was a fan of Chris’ old blog, Some People Are On The Pitch and also the excellent Sound of Football podcast him, Terry Duffelen & Graham Sibley did. I got in touch with them a few times and struck up a good friendship with Chris. We were discussing football nostalgia one day and both of us liked the idea of creating a blog around it. I was somewhat hesitant to start one of my own given my past failures, so when Chris suggested co-blogging, I was more than happy to lean on his vast experience. Thus, the Football Attic was born.

7) What do you get out of it?

Other than an outlet to be creative and share nostalgic memories, I’d say the interaction with people gives me the most pleasure. I do most of the twitter work so I get plenty of chance to converse with a wide range of people, some of whom have become good friends. Our League of Blogs feature also brought a lot of the blogging community together and is a huge amount of fun.

8) What advice would you give someone wanting to follow in your stud marks/footsteps?

Hang off the coat-tails of someone who’s already established 😉  Seriously, follow what you’re passionate about and just do it because you enjoy it.

9) If you could do it all again what would you change?

Not a huge amount really. I thoroughly enjoy writing for the Attic. I’d maybe increase the number  of hours in the day as I struggle to find time to write anything. Thankfully, Chris more than makes up for my lack of prolificness.

10) Who’s your footballing hero?

Maradona – despite the Hand of God goal, he is the best footballer of all time. It would have been great to see what he’d have been like if he could have stayed clean, but then he wouldn’t have been Maradona.

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WHO ARE YA? Andrew Palmer, Football Consultant, mentor and coach

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1) Who are ya?

Andrew Palmer, 42 years old.

2) Who do you support?

I support Liverpool and have done since I was a child, my favourite colour being red, even though I liked Liverpool when we had a black and white TV! My dad told me stories about visiting there when he came from Jamaica. The national team I support is Jamaica as this is where my mum was born and I feel a great affiliation with the country. One day i would like to work for the federation and help create talented players and a great team from there.

3) What was your first game?

My first game playing football was for a schools football team, and we won 4-2.

I’ve also played for Nottinghamshire FA Youth U19s and also semi pro at Eastwood town. and also with Notts County YTS youth team.

4) What do you do for a job?

I’m currently running my own business as a Football Consultant where i help young players find clubs semi pro, pro, or college soccer in America. I also help with self development side of things i.e. dealing with the mental and emotional side of things such as confidence building writing CVs and mentoring. I feel that this is important as the pressures of dealing with playing etc. are so intense that problems arise both physically and mentally.

5) Have you played/worked for any football clubs?

I’ve worked for Nottingham Schools FA as a coach and a committee member, working with the U11s up to the U15s for Nottingham’s representative sides. I was also the Nottinghamshire FA Youth U19s manager for 8 years, playing in the Midlands County Youth League and also the FA County Youth Cup.

I’ve been a scout for Leicester City for 10 years, and for 3 years set up and ran their first development centre in Nottingham for 8 – 12 year olds.

6) How did you get into it?

I got into coaching etc. when I started doing a FA Coaching badge as I wasn’t sure what to do at the time. I’ve got a degree in design (business) management and was unemployed for 2 years after leaving university at 27. So confidence was low… I had started a design business afterwards to get me out of unemployment but then the coaching came along and things took off from there.

7) What do you get out of it?

I’ve coached children from 5 upwards and I’ve coached young adults and adults too. I’ve coached girls and boys. I’ve worked as a tutor with hard to reach kids. I helped develop and set up Nottingham’s first Futsal team (this was a number of years before what we see now in Futsal in the UK).

I’ve worked with mentoring groups… I’ve coached dads and lads groups… I’ve coached and worked with young adults on my own knife and gun crime project [Nottingham had a bad reputation for knife and gun crime in the 90s and early 2000s – GM], so you can say that I got and continue to get a lot out of it!

I love working with and inspiring people, particularly young people. and also seeing a child go from not being able to turn their foot correctly to pass with their instep to doing it correctly.

Not only that but to teach them life experience whilst coaching too.

8) What advice would you give someone wanting to follow in your stud marks/footsteps?

I would say follow your dreams get out their try try and try again and you never know what is around the corner. It led me to being chosen to carry the Olympic torch, and someone wanted to nominate me for an MBE, which I laughed at! “Believe and you will Achieve”.

9) If you could do it all again what would you change?

I wish I was more positive after the set back of unemployment and being down it took me a while to recover. I wasn’t 100% positive – that only came much later.

For me though, I suppose, if I hadn’t gone through depression I wouldn’t have achieved so many things.

I’ve now got a 3 year old son who is reaping the benefits of my tuition and he is already doing step overs, drag backs, dribbling, shooting and passing – crazyyyyy!

10) Who’s your footballing hero?

I’m not sure i would call footballers “heroes” per se but I’ve got a few footballers that I thought were great (a term used too loosely in the modern game) – Pele Maradona, Van Basten, Ruud Gullit, Zidane, Kenny Dalglish, Messi, Franco Baresi, Gerd Muller and Franz Beckenbauer.

Cheers, Andrew. More power to you.

See also thinkfootball.co.uk/archives/938

WHO ARE YA? Tom Finch, TOFFS

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1) Who are ya?
Tom Finch, 20
2) Who do you support?
The Arsenal
3) What was your first game?
Arsenal 1-2 Liverpool, 2001 FA Cup Final, 12/05/01
4) What do you do for a job?
Graphic Design / Marketing / Photography / Sew-on Numbers…A bit of everything really
5) Have you played/worked for any football clubs?
I haven’t, although I have played 5-a-side at The Emirates, does that count?
6) How did you get into it?
Family business
7) What do you get out of it?
I can’t… [The question was “What”, not “How”! 😉 – GM]
8) What advice would you give someone wanting to follow in your stud marks/footsteps?
Know your stuff! You never know when someone might ask you the score between Bolton and Sheff Wed in 1982! [16 Feb – Bolton won 1-0, 08 May – Bolton won 3-1, 07 Sep – Wednesday won 3-1 – GM]
9) If you could do it all again what would you change?
I wouldn’t change anything really…
10) Who’s your footballing hero?
Although there’s been a few players I admired growing up, such as Henry, Riquelme, Zidane, Aimar, my footballing hero has always been Dennis Bergkamp (AKA God).

WHO ARE YA? Chris Dolby, Foundation Director of Sheffield FC

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1) Who are ya?
Chris Dolby, 39 years old

2) Who do you support?
Rotherham United and Sheffield FC

3) What was your first game?
Brentford

4) What do you do for a job?
Foundation Director of the World’s First Football Club, Sheffield FC

5) Have you played/worked for any football clubs?
Rotherham United, Bradford City, Alfreton Town, Hyde United, Staleybridge Celtic, Bradford PA and Sheffield FC.

6) How did you get into it?
Played professional football from the age of 17 then went into community coaching and academy coaching at the age of 24

7) What do you get out of it?
Total satisfaction of giving something back to the game

8) What advice would you give someone wanting to follow in your stud marks/footsteps?
Work hard but enjoy the game!

9) If you could do it all again what would you change?
I would have enjoyed the experience more!

10) Who’s your footballing hero?
Ryan Giggs

Many thanks, Chris.

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WHO ARE YA? Tom Fieldhouse, Media Executive

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1) Who are ya?

Tom Fieldhouse, 23, born and raised in Yorkshire and obsessed with football.

2) Who do you support?

Leeds United

3) What was your first game?

Pretty sure it was when I was about 4 or 5 and my dad took me and my older brother to Elland Road to watch a game. I was so young I don’t remember much other than I got bored and wanted to leave early to my brother’s dismay. We heard the ground erupt as we approached our car. Needless to say we never left early again.

Football passed me by until I was about 8 when a friend of mine’s family kindly took me to watch Uefa Cup matches against the likes of Marítimo. European nights at a packed Elland Road are hard to beat and I’ve been hooked ever since.

4) What do you do for a job?

I’m a media executive at a marketing agency in Leeds called Intermarketing Agency. I plan and buy advertising space in magazines, on TV, Radio, Online – anything really! Really enjoy it and the agency is a fantastic place to work.

5) Have you played/worked for any football clubs?

Played – unless you’re counting Ripon City Panthers/Magnets U14-U18s – then sadly not.

Haven’t worked for a club but would love to work for Leeds someday. Being at a club that’s progressing very quickly (e.g Man City) would be very exciting as well so if ever an opportunity like that came up I’d find it hard to pass up – even with my Yorkshire upbringing.

6) How did you get into it?

I got into marketing because I liked the creative aspect of business, working in media came as a result as searching for a work placement as part of my degree. I didn’t have a clue what went in agencies, and would take any job available in that environment.

Luckily I landed a job I really enjoyed in an agency that was moving in the right direction.

7) What do you get out of it?

It’s great to learn more about the new developments in marketing, and how one subtle change to a marketing budget/campaign can maximise efficiency. I really enjoy being able to work on really creative ideas as well!

8) What advice would you give someone wanting to follow in your stud marks/footsteps?

Work hard and leave no stone unturned when looking for an opportunity. If you can make a process more efficient, do it and prove it works instead of waiting for permission. Most importantly though, be nice and friendly and treat everybody with the respect you’d like to receive in turn. You never know when that intern might finally get that tech startup off the ground and become the next Zuckerberg.

9) If you could do it all again what would you change?

Tricky one… It’s got to be: have a proper crack at becoming a musician. And actually spend time practising guitar when I had the time in my teens.

10) Who’s your footballing hero?

From a club perspective it’s got to Kewell. He had it all. As a left footed player Leeds had a great pair of idols for me in Harte and Kewell but Kewell’s skill was immense and his goals weren’t bad either.

Overall though, I can’t look past Henry. For me he changed the way the game was played – brought a style and flair to the pitch I’d never seen before. He optimised Wenger’s brand of football and that’s a style of football I love. It wasn’t simply about winning but winning with style and boy, did they do that.

WHO ARE YA? Simon Lansley, Head of Marketing & Communications for Street League

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Simon Lansley, Head of Marketing & Communications for Street League

1) Who are ya?

Simon Lansley, 41.

2) Who do you support?

Wolverhampton Wanderers, without question the world’s greatest football club!

3) What was your first game?

Derek Dougan’s testimonial, about 1977 I think. In the old Waterloo Road Stand.

4) What do you do for a job?

Head of Marketing & Communications for the brilliant national charity @Street_League, which uses football to tackle youth unemployment. I’m also founder of @ConnectSport, which seeks to raise awareness of projects which use sport for social development. I previously worked in journalism for 15 years, including as Sports Editor / Editorial Director at The Press Association.

5) Have you played/worked for any football clubs?

Yes. Manager for Hamilton Panthers Under-6s!!

6) How did you get into it?

Coached my lad’s team for five years.

7) What do you get out of it?

Perspective. Before a certain age, kids are quite happy to just have fun and try to win a match; it’s adults who are obsessed by league tables. Saw too many dads reliving their football careers through their kids, desperate to win the league whatever the cost. I like winning matches more than most – but not at the cost of kids developing and learning not to panic on the ball.

8) What advice would you give someone wanting to follow in your stud marks/footsteps?

Put the kids first. Make sure they’re always having fun, they’re much more likely to want to learn. I took a lot of pleasure from watching a supposedly ‘weaker’ player grow in confidence through encouragement and guaranteed gametime to become top scorer. Just seeing him and his dad’s pride when he scored was worth all the effort.

9) If you could do it all again what would you change?

Better facilities, better English weather, more support for the embattled club stalwarts, but most of all more patience and positivity from the vocal minority on the sidelines.

10) Who’s your footballing hero?

Stephen George Bull MBE.

Many thanks, Simon.

Follow Street League on Twitter – @Street_League

Get involved – www.streetleague.co.uk/get-involved

WHO ARE YA? Nigel Payne, Creative Manager, Everton Football Club

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1) Who are ya?

Nigel Payne, 37, Manchester

2) Who do you support?

I’m a neutral.

3) What was your first game?

Everton v Liverpool (3-0 Everton)

4) What do you do for a job?

Creative Manager, Everton Football Club. I’m responsible for the creative output of the Club.

5) Have you played/worked for any football clubs?

Only EFC.

6) How did you get into it?

I was recommended to the Club from Uni as sole in-house designer 8 years ago.

7) What do you get out of it?

The opportunity to work on projects for a large brand.

8) What advice would you give someone wanting to follow in your stud marks/footsteps?

You have to become strong and single-minded very quickly. Don’t give up and always be prepared to fight for what you want to do if you think that your decisions are right.

9) If you could do it all again what would you change?

Work somewhere closer to home!!

10) Who’s your footballing hero?

To be honest, I really don’t have one.