Ex-Luton and Tranmere defender Steve McNulty talks us through his football memories.
First game you watched live?
It’s a long time ago now but probably the first game I saw was when Everton beat Man United 1-0 in the 1995 FA Cup Final at the old Wembley. A lot of my family were Toffees fans and I was about 11 years old, so it really sticks out for me.
First football hero?
I didn’t take much notice of specific footballers when I was younger, but we were all obsessed with Paul Gascoigne when he signed for Everton. As I got more and more into football, I started to try and watch and learn from John Terry as well. He was one of the best.
First football boots?
I had to ask my brother about this as I had no idea! He reckons we both got given Puma Kings as our first boots which were all the rage at the time.
Even though I am an Everton fan, my first kit was actually a Liverpool one in the mid-90s. All my dad’s side of the family support Liverpool and all of my mum’s side support Everton. I went over to one of my nan’s houses and she gave me a Liverpool kit, but then I went over to my other nan’s and she took that off me and gave me an Everton kit. I’m glad she quickly got rid of the Liverpool one and put me in blue!
First professional game?
I played my first senior game for Burscough in the Northern Premier League in 2003 and it wasn’t until I was at Fleetwood almost a decade later that I played in the Football League. I think my first was a pretty dull 0-0 draw with Torquay, but I remember how good some of the strikers were that season. Northampton had Adebayo Akinfenwa playing up top with Clive Platt, who is about 6ft 5in – a centre-back’s nightmare! It just showed how big the step up into the EFL from Non-League is.
First professional goal?
I haven’t scored many, although I did score in Fleetwood’s first ever Football League win about a month into that 2012-13 season when we beat Aldershot 4-1 – a nice back-post header. But the goal that is top of my list was for Luton against Southport the next year and it won goal of the season! For some reason, I didn’t go up for a free-kick and was just standing on the edge of the semi-circle. The ball got headed clear and even before it had come to me, I thought, ‘I’m hitting this one’. I hit it first time on the volley and it flew over the keeper and nestled in the corner. It was even sweeter because my mate Danny Hurst was in goal for Southport that day and we’d played for Fleetwood together.
First red card?
It was for Fleetwood back in December 2011. We played against Yeovil in the FA Cup and drew 2-2 at home, so we had to play them away in a replay. We were 1-0 up late on and one of their lads was about to go through on goal so I pulled him back and got a second yellow. Jamie Vardy scored at the end to win the game 2-0 and get us into the third round so it was a good red card to get!