FIVE MINUTES WITH PAUL WARNE: Moved to tears at Oldham, Russell Slade in flippers and the joy of my first goal

FIVE MINUTES WITH PAUL WARNE: Moved to tears at Oldham, Russell Slade in flippers and the joy of my first goal

By David Beddows | 27/04/2020

FIVE MINUTES WITH PAUL WARNE: Moved to tears at Oldham, Russell Slade in flippers and the joy of my first goal


THE Millers chief breezes through some of the standout moments from his time in football and his lockdown pursuits

Most memorable game:
That would be when I once played for Yeovil away to Oldham.
I'd had two good years at Oldham and had really enjoyed it there.
When you play your old team it is really hard. You always have a dry mouth.
In this match I scored and was substituted with about three or four minutes to go but I got an ovation off everyone.
It was a really touching moment because normally when you got back to a lot of clubs as a player not everyone is respectful of you.
For example, if Prings (Ben Pringle) came back then a lot of fans would boo him and a lot of fans would clap him. It's a weird thing.
When I scored I didn't celebrate. I was buzzing that I'd scored, don't get me wrong, but I was trying to be respectful.
In your career you don't ever get the chance to say goodbye to places. One minute you're there playing, the next you’re being released and you go.

Best manager:
Russell Slade at Yeovil because he was different to every other manager I played for.
They all had strengths. I played for Ronnie (Moore) for years and for John Sheridan. John Deehan was a really nice guy but Russell Slade was more like a teacher and an instructor.
He wasn't always the stick. He mixed things up.
Once, we had a match at Nottingham Forest. It was the last game of the season and Russell was in the shower room, out of sight. He was shouting 'you lot think you've made it. Your heads are on the beach and you don't care anymore. You're a disgrace.'
He was really yelling and we're thinking 'what's going on here?'
Then he came out of the shower room and all he had on was a pair of shorts, some flippers, goggles and a mouthpiece.
It went down an absolute storm and we went out and played really well.
It's amazing how people can make you look at things differently. It's not always about the intense team talk.
Russell Slade made me look at treating people differently.

Best player:
One of the best was Richie Wellens (below) at Oldham. He was the best all round footballer.

Favourite ground:
There are two of them.
Norwich's Carrow Road (above), obviously, because that’s the club I?support, and Newcastle.
I always wanted to play there but I did manage Rotherham there. St James' Park is some place for football, a bit of a church in football.

Favourite goal:
That would be my first goal on my first senior start for Wigan against Blackpool.
I chipped the goalkeeper.
I'd been a non-league player and had gone pro. I never knew if I would get on the pitch and be good enough.
My girlfriend (now wife) went to the game and my best mate from Norwich came up as well.
I scored as a professional footballer and no-one can ever take that off me. I didn't know at the time that I would go on and play 500 games but that was just a magical moment.
If you asked me to name ten of my goals I couldn't but that's the one that sticks in my mind.

Lockdown reading:
I have two books on the go.
One is called The Edge, about sport and leadership. I am also a sucker for Jack Reacher books so I'm reading  Lee Child’s Bad Luck and Trouble. I’m holding it now.

Lockdown viewing:
I'm watching The Least Expected Day on Netflix. It's about life inside the Moviestar cycling team in 2019.
Another thing I absolutely devoured was on YouTube. It's a series called The Franchise. a behind-the-scenes look at the Kansas City Chiefs winning the NFL last year. I loved it.