Football Firsts: Bradford City winger Mark Marshall

First game you watched live?

This might sound strange but the first one was when I was 15 or 16. I went to watch one of the England age group teams at the Britannia Stadium, possibly the under-21s. I can’t remember anything about the game but just being there inspired me. When you see it live, and at an impressive stadium, it makes you want to get out there.

First football hero?

I watched those Nike ads as a kid and Edgar Davids was doing all those tricks – when I saw that I thought it was brilliant. After that Arjen Robben was one of my favourites and he still is. When he came to the Premier League you could see that he was special and even now I look up to him. Ronaldinho, too, but ultimately it was all about Robben.

First pair of boots?

Puma Kings – I will never forget them. I got them as a present when I was nine and I remember it as clear as day. I didn’t play for a team or anything back then, I just used to have a little muck about in the park, but I wore those boots everywhere.

First kit?

I have never put on a replica jersey in my life. I started playing quite late and maybe it’s because I have never really been a person to settle down on a team. I always liked good football rather than a team and I think that’s the reason. Even now I haven’t got a certain team that I support.

First professional game?

I remember it well, Cheltenham away with Swindon. I was pretty nervous but I came on for 15 minutes at the end and I was over the moon – it was a great feeling. I only got a cameo appearance and we lost the game 2-0 but it was still the best feeling in the world to be out there.

First professional goal?

A couple of seasons later I scored for Barnet in a 1-1 draw with Bury but I can’t remember it at all – it was just a blur. I went on to score a few goals that season but the best one yet was last season for Port Vale, against Barnsley. I went on a little mazy run from the right, cut in, beat a few players and stuck it in the bottom corner.

First red card?

I have never been sent off. In fact, normally I get told off for not tackling! I guess it is my position and I’m not really one of those wingers who gets stuck in. My idea of football is a beautiful game and that is why I like watching teams like Barcelona, or any side that is playing well with the ball. It should be like a game of chess.

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