Interview with John Byrne

PUBLISHED: 14:36 22 January 2010 | UPDATED: 16:37 20 February 2013

Interview with John Byrne

Interview with John Byrne

Sussex life talks to footballer John Byrne...

What one item cant you do without ?
At the moment its got to be my iPod. I somehow stupidly entered the Brighton marathon this year and I am currently pounding the streets of Brighton, Hove and Worthing in training for it. I couldnt do it without listening to music as it blots out the loneliness of the long distance runner. If I didnt have it, what at the moment seems like an impossible task would be relentlessly boring.

What was the last thing you bought?
The complete series of The Wire. I love this programme; its so compelling, confusing and really difficult to understand the Baltimore accent. Sometimes it seems as though nothing is happening but its utterly brilliant. When The Sopranos finished there was a big gap in my life but The Wire more than filled it!

What was the last book you bought?
Gina Fords Contented Baby. My partner Steph and I had our son Bobby (named after Bobby Charlton) six months ago, and as there is a 19-year gap between him and my daughter Kelly, I had forgotten how to look after a young baby!
This book really helped and he settled into a routine really quickly, but thats all gone out of the window now as he is teething the joys of sleepless nights!
The last book I acquired rather than bought was Peter Wards biography He Shot He Scored. I was invited to his book launch recently and received a free copy which Peter signed: "From one great striker to another" which was pretty modest of him. Only joking. Hes a really top bloke and what a player he was too a real Albion legend.

If you could only listen to one album again, what would it be?
Thats a difficult question as I love my music and to pick one is so difficult. I could have Whats The Story Morning Glory by Oasis, or The Bends by Radiohead, but I will go with a classic: Abbey Road by the Beatles. Most people say the White Album or Sergeant Peppers when they get asked their favourite Beatles album but this one gets me every time. I love the second half medley, its absolute genius!

When you were a kid what did you want to be?
From the moment Manchester United won the European cup in 1968, all I ever wanted to be was a footballer. Being brought up in Manchester I remember that night so vividly, even though I was seven at the time.
The next day at school was brilliant, it was like a holiday with everyone jumping around and making flags and posters in class to celebrate. I remember getting my first kit; a Denis Law replica kit, and I used to wear the long sleeves over my hands just like Denis used to.
Frequent trips to Old Trafford with my brother and cousins cemented my desire to be a footballer, which I made but alas never for United. I did score the winner against them when I was at QPR, which was weird I felt a bit like a traitor!

What are you most proud of?
Its a bit cheesy but I am really proud of my three children Tom, Kelly and Bobby, and my partner Steph. I am also proud of my football achievements, and the fact I have a degree in Podiatry, which is probably the hardest thing I have ever done. My brain had been dormant for twenty years playing football, but Ive been qualified now for nearly 10 years. I love my NHS career and also the private work I do and I get a lot
of job satisfaction improving patients foot problems.


John was born in Manchester and began his career with York City, coming to the attention of QPR during the League Cup match between the sides in 1984. He joined QPR in October 1984, making his debut against Norwich City. He earned 23 caps for the Republic of Ireland.
He was a highly skilful player and once famously dribbled half the length of the pitch to score against Chelsea in a 60 victory in 1986.
John moved from QPR to the French club Le Havre in 1988, and remained there before returning to England in 1990 to play with Brighton and Hove Albion. With spells at Sunderland, Millwall, and Oxford John returned to Brighton on loan in 1993, finishing his career there in 1996. With Sunderland, he scored in every round of the 1992 FA Cup except the final.
Today he lives in Hove with his partner Steph and their six-month-old baby Bobby. He is currently a commentator on Radio Sussex for Brighton and Hove Albion home games, works for the NHS and also runs a private practice for podiatry.

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