We learn a bit more about skipper Carl Magnay by bringing up topics linked to every letter of his name - let's see what we can find out.
C is for Chelsea
I had to pinch myself pretty much every morning when I was playing for Chelsea. It was like being in a bubble. I remember one morning I was sat having steak and eggs for breakfast when Brendan Rodgers walked past and said “Welcome to the circus” – and that’s what it was like. Everything was absolutely top class, you couldn’t believe you were in it. I have loads of great memories from my time there; it helped put me on the map to a certain extent and gave me a start in my career and helped me make a living in football which is all I have ever wanted to do.
A is for Ambitions
I want to win a league title; that would be nice. On a more personal note, I want to try and stay injury-free for the rest of my career, I am sick of injuries now so I just want to play as many games as I can. I already also have ambitions to go in to coaching and management once I have retired from playing too.
R is for Reality Television
Haha! This will be the Football Icon, then! It all came about because my dad was secretary at my local boys club and he got a call from Sky Sports. They told him they were doing a programme for young footballers and the winner would get a contract with Chelsea! I was actually on trial with Middlesbrough at the time so I had to relinquish that to take part in the show and it turned out to be almost like a football assault course! They had all kinds of different drills to test your different skills, it was all a bit surreal but quite fun most of the time. I remember on the first day I almost didn’t stay because when I got there the queue to register was massive – thankfully, my mate was near the front and he let me sneak in and the rest is history! I would say the moment I found out I won that was the best moment of my life so far. I had been released from Leeds and was trying to get back in to football anywhere and then suddenly I was at one of the biggest clubs in Europe!
L is for Leeds United
I was at Leeds for five years between the age of 11 and 16. I had the chance to go to any of the North East clubs but even though I was a Newcastle fan and still pretty young, I always felt that the Academy set-up at Leeds was a cut above and I wanted to go there. My dad wasn’t very happy – especially with the petrol bills taking me to training and games three or four times a week. He got a couple of speeding fines too which caused arguments with my mam! It was sad the way it fizzled out there with the finances and a lot of the young players, myself included, were casualties of that.
M is for Middle Names
Haha, I knew this would come up! I have actually got two middle names. One of them is Joseph, which isn’t too bad. The other one is Ronald though, which I get a bit of stick about. I get called Ronald McDonald and all of that. I never talk about it but as soon as it catches on at a new club I get some stick. I just get sentimental about it and tell people that the reason for the names is that they’re the names of my two grandads – people struggle to take the Mick after that! Ha!
A is for Armband
It is obviously be a great honour to be captain of the Club. I have just finished my third season now so I have my feet under the table, I know everyone at the Club and it was a privilege to be skipper. I have said before, we have four or five in the squad who are capable of wearing the armband and that can only be good for us because we’ve needed characters and leaders.
G is for Goals
I have scored a few decent goals over the years, to be fair. I scored an overhead kick for Gateshead once and a really good long-range one too. They don’t come around too often but, when they do, they tend to be decent. The goal I scored for Pools at Crewe last season is probably my favourite because it was in the League and it had more eyes on it, Sky even used it on an advert for a while. I did probably enjoy that goal the most though the one at Barrow was decent too obviously!
N is for Nicknames
I think just ‘Mags’ is the main one really. I have had all sorts of names thrown at me in the past and I think my mam would be upset if she knew some of them! Haha! Obviously, I get Ronnie – that goes back to the middle name thing!
A is for Anterior Cruciate Ligament
I have done that injury twice, unfortunately. Actually, when I did it the first time the doctor told me there was a 75% chance that I would do it again in the future! I remember my mam was really shocked when she heard that but he was quite straightforward about it. It always seems to be a pretty innocuous injury when it happens to players. It’s not really down to strength most of the time because it happens to the best of players, like Ibrahimovic last season. I think when I did mine last season I was really down about it but the experience of having done it previously actually helped because I knew what was ahead. I also had the best treatment from Buster, Parno and Craig who made the rehabilitation more fun than I ever thought it could be. I think it’s toughened me up mentally and I am not sure there’s much football could throw at me now that would break me.
Y is for Younes Kaboul
I played against Younes Kaboul in a Reserve game when I was at Chelsea and he was playing for Portsmouth. I clashed heads with him and ended up in hospital for four days! All I really remember is that it was a corner and he wasn’t even marking me, but when the ball came in my eyes lit up so I went for it and he got there first so I ended up heading the side of his head. The next thing I remember is waking in St Mary’s in Paddington!