Paul thanks for doing this interview right in the middle of a promotion battle. The stress must be enormous!
When did you start playing Hockey?
I started playing when I was about 14 at Calday Grammar. At the time we had a choice of playing rugby or hockey. As egg-chasing wasn’t for me, I went into the girl’s sport of hockey. Actually it was the thought of owning one of my own jockstaps (presented by Toddy) that really interested me. I’ve probably still got it in the loft somewhere. I’ll have to get it down and frame it.
Who did you play for?
My first game was for Calday against Merchant Taylors and we lost 4 2.
I was introduced to Neston by the Brooker Clan and not long after that I got my first game for the club. It was for the 5ths against Bowden Vets and we lost 3 -2 (a pattern developing here).
Naturally with my pace and goal scoring abilities there was only one position for me and that was left back. I have though over the years played in every position on the park including a second half in goal for the Neston ladies 3rd team. I think it was my blonde flowing locks that got them confused. I only conceded one in a four nil hammering so I must have made a difference.
What book are you reading at the moment?
The “You are the ref” annual I got from Christmas. It’s kept in the littlest room in the house so I can read it whilst contemplating my Saturday team talks.
What is your favourite film?
It’s a toss-up between “It’s a Wonderful Life” or “Goodbye Mr Chips”. Sucker for the black and white movies. It’s never been the same since we had the colour television installed into our house.
What position do you play at the moment?
Centre Midfield. I make sure I have some runners alongside me so I don’t have to break into a sweat.
As Captain, I have the luxury of playing myself anywhere but normally I try to keep away from the opposition goal as it normally takes me too long to turn around and head back the other way.
Who is the best player you have played with or against?
I’ve played alongside so many great players but that’s enough about my hockey exploits outside Neston. There are many obvious names – Robbie, Rowno, Byrnes, Brooker but I’m giving it to the best performance I ever saw. That was by a young Tom Hollinsby (pre-affro days) as he was making his way up through the teams. It was a 2nd team game and I played at the back with him. As he listened to everything I said, I didn’t break sweat or into a run and only had to make two tackles in the whole game as he won everything.
Top Tip in Hockey?
Knowing the quickest route to the local hospital. Since I’ve been playing I’ve visited various A&E establishments numerous times – fingers, eyes, mouth, knees and head injuries. Whenever I leave the pitch I have to count all my body parts to make sure I haven’t left any behind.
What other sports played?
Since I was 11, I’ve been playing cricket for Port Sunlight CC. I hit my first century last summer which I was quite proud of … that’s not 100 runs in total since I first started.
I’ve also started running and entered my first half marathon last year. Unfortunately with having the Fowler fat gene, I’m prone to putting on weight during the summer so have to run to keep my ‘Daniel Craig’ build.
What Music do you like?
Like my hair and my clothes, my pop taste is definitely the 1980s.
Who would you want in a fight on your side, from NSWHC.
If we were talking ‘sniper attack’ on the computer, it would have to be Andy Hogarth as that’s all he does all day when he’s not flying which is quite often.
If it was a tag team pie-eating competition, then Mr Andy Hurst would be the one I would like in my very big corner.
However if it was a proper fight it would have to be Lawrence as he has a face you could punch. My opponent would be too busy concentrating on beating him up to notice me.
Future for NSWHC?
For this season, I’m just focused on taking it one game at a time. And working on fitting more clichés into my team talks.
Philosophy of life?
If you know you are playing an opponent that’s better than you, cheat, talk to him, and do anything to put him off their game.
If you are going to have to give someone bad news, don’t get Hursty to do it. Text them it’s easier.
Finally life is not a dress rehearsal. Enjoy it. And when you’re gone can we use your ashes for the base of the new astro?
What is your idea of a perfect weekend?
Friday – No cry offs (rarely happens form the 2s on a Friday night) or Lawrence ringing me to say that one of his first team players has cried off with some excuse like chipped a nail or washing powder rash (a new disease that the British Medical Journal are interested in). A few drinks and a takeaway. However unfortunately not as young as I used to be so I know it will affect my game on Saturday so it’s likely to be one beer and a cup of tea. Rock and roll.
Saturday – Wake up. Birds singing – I should have a word with her next door. Turn up at the field of hockey dreams and find all the team have arrived early. We stuff the opposition. Get back to the club and find out Liverpool have lost to a handball and that they should have had a stonewall penalty. Have a curry at the club and Andy Hurst says ‘don’t worry Paul I’ll clean up the team dishes’ (I’m stretching it now).
Sunday – Spring up out of bed, feeling no after effects from the day before. Help out at junior training – teaching the young scamps all my bad habits i.e. how not to break sweat. Home and watch Everton win on the box. Go for a celebratory run round the block (waving my scarf in the air) and finish off the day with episodes of 24 and Lost.
Thanks Paul and good luck for the next few matches.