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Steve Dingle: I love football...

December 3, 2015

In the first of our 'I love football' features, inspired by the great folks at Soccer AM, we ask our First XI keeper and captain Steve 'De Gea' Dingle, why he loves the beautiful game.

 

From his earliest football memories, to his all-time heroes, here's everything you'll need to know:

 

My earliest football memory is...

 

My first real memory of football would be playing in the street outside our house. Ironically, it was with three of our current Watersfield players; Charles Wratten, Luke Sanderson and my brother, Matt.

 

When I was younger, I used to go and watch...

 

Manchester United and Chelsea. My family are mainly Chelsea fans, but I decided to be the black sheep and support United. It certainly adds to the atmosphere in the house, when the two sides play against each other!

 

My footballing hero is...

 

Peter Schmeichel, without doubt. I loved the way he'd make himself big and close down the ball on one-on-ones. It's probably my favourite part of being a keeper, and one of my best attributes, all because of watching him growing up.

 

My favourite football ground is...

 

Has to be Old Trafford. I have so many great memories of going up to see United, including the 8-2 against Arsenal, and a couple of Manchester derbies.

 

The greatest game I ever watched...

 

Hmm, difficult! Probably has to be the Arsenal game when we smashed them 8-2, or the City game where Owen scored the winner in Fergie time. Nearly fell off the top tier whilst celebrating! That's if you're talking about live games. If not, the Arsenal game in the FA Cup in 1999 was incredible. Watching it on the telly as Peter Schmeichel saved the pen, then Giggsy scored that absolute worldy. Doesn't get much better than that.

 

The best goal I've ever seen was...

 

This one is difficult, there are so many to choose from. The Giggsy goal is up there, but I don't think I could pick one stand-out goal!

 

The greatest player I've met is...

 

Zola. I met him as kid at Chelsea training ground, when I was at Chelsea Soccer School. Absolute legend.

 

My favourite piece of football memorabilia is...

 

I have a picture of Solskjaer scoring the winner in the 1999 Champions League Final. It's framed on my wall in the flat. I also have a Bolton Wanderers piece signed by a few of the players at that time, including Jay-Jay Okocha (so good they named him twice)!

 

My favourite football chant is...

 

Well, it has to be our very own 'OHHH TOMMY MACARI' - It's probably the first official Watersfield FC chant, and it's certainly one we'll never forget. Although, Tommy sometimes wishes he could!

 

You wouldn't know that I was once...

 

A competitive swimmer. I used to swim for Horsham, my main stroke being the backstroke. I took part in a few good competitions and galas.

 

I'm also good at...

 

Squash. I play once or twice a week. It's a great sport, and certainly beneficial to my fitness.

 

If I could change one thing about football, it would be...

 

In the professional game? Capping the money spent by clubs. It's ridiculous now!

 

... and last, but not least... I love football because...

 

It's a lifestyle. There are so many different ways to enjoy it; playing, supporting, watching, debating. I've been with Watersfield FC now for 11 years, and it's a great community team. Nothing beats the excitement of matchday, whether it's pulling on that No. 1 shirt at Alban Head, or watching United at Old Trafford.

 

 

Stay tuned for more features at www.watersfieldfc.co.uk

 

 

 

 

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