Football Firsts: Winger Jamal Campbell-Ryce

First game you watched live?

You do know I’m 33, right? That tests my memory! I am a Spurs fan, so it must have been a game at White Hart Lane, probably against Crystal Palace, but that is a wild guess. I used to go with my cousins or my mates quite a lot. My old man and my eldest cousin are all Spurs fans, so I followed in their footsteps. I was probably about 13 or 14 when I first went.

First football hero?

That would be the Brazilian Ronaldo. When he was at Barcelona, he was unplayable so I wanted to be like him – obviously I have fallen well short! He was the phenomenon. Those that know football will not forget him. He is, for me, one of the best three ever. I could not say who was better between him and Lionel Messi, but I would put him ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo. He had so much natural ability, whereas Cristiano worked on it. I used to look forward to watching him every weekend when I was a kid.

First football boots?

I had a pair of the Puma Kings and a pair of different coloured Lottos. The Puma Kings were the boots that everyone wore and I must have bought six or seven pairs.

First kit?

It was definitely that old Tottenham Holsten-sponsored kit from a long time ago. It was yellow and made by Umbro. I did not get many kits when I was younger, but I used to love that and the white one from the same year. I rotated them. I did not bother with England ones – I have never been into those.

First professional game?

I went on loan to Leyton Orient for three months in 2002 and it was very successful. It was against Rochdale away and I was 19 at the time. It was a great experience and I learned a lot from that spell. We lost 1-0 on the day, but it toughened me up.

First professional goal?

That would have been while I was at Leyton Orient. The first goal I remember scoring was at home to QPR. It was a League Cup game. I was also playing against my mate, Danny Shittu, who was also on loan from Charlton. I played up front against him. He’s a defender so it was great to get the better of him!

First red card?

I have not had many during my career, but my first was when I was at Barnsley against Bristol City away in 2007. That was not a nice memory. It was for two yellows, which is never fair! The worst was a few years back when I was at Notts County, away at Preston, and I broke Scott Laird’s leg. It sounds a lot worse than it was, but I went to block a cross and he kicked the bottom of my boot and the leg wrapped around.

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