Monday, 10 October 2011

Interview with Chris Hargreaves - Tarzan!

I feel quite privileged to have the opportunity to interview Chris Hargreaves. If it wasn't for a company called @fridayproject who happened to see a conversation on twitter with @DaveWeeks16 about suggesting to interview him, I don't know how I would of achieved this!

Chris Hargreaves has played for a number of clubs throughout his career such as Grimsby Town, Scarborough, West Brom, Hereford, Plymouth Argyle, Northampton, Brentford, Oxford and Torquay. Chris made 105 appearances for Torquay scoring 14 goals. He scored Torquay's first goal as he captained them in a 2 - 0 victory over Cambridge United in the Conference play-off final at Wembley. The victory earned Torquay promotion back into the The Football League. 

1) The playoff final was a big day for everyone, therefore what thoughts and emotions were running through your head when the final whistle was blown?
It was a case of pure relief, so much had happened that season whether it was on or off the pitch. For me, it had been 57 games of blood, stitches, injections and a lot of ups and downs! It was an amazing feeling when the whistle was blown. I was more delighted for my family than myself and the fans at Wembley that day. It was a great day for their brilliant support.

2) It came a shock to everyone when it was announced you would be leaving Torquay, was it your decision and how did it all come about?
It was a shock to me when I realised that I would be leaving the club as I had thought I would be seeing my career out at the club, but Paul Buckle wanted a different team and I didn't feel that I could sit on the bench or in the stand and just pick up my money after having such a brilliant time at the club. Myself and the manager had a great rapport on and off the field but it just became tense at the end but that's just football. It soon becambe clear that Oxford wanted me and I decided that another job needed finishing. Football can be a bit ruthless but it didn't matter as I had achieved exactly what I had set out to do at Torquay, to lead the team back into the league. I will admit it was a wrench to leave though!

3) You later joined Oxford in January 2010 but after making 10 appearances and Oxford getting back into the league, you left. What happened?
I was very proud to have gone back and help Oxford and achieve promotion. It was a tough decision rejoin the going club from one club as captain to another club and being made captain, it was bizarre. It was always going to be a short term deal as I wanted to stay in Devon. Ultimately, those ten games and travelling to and from Oxford probably finished my career, but I always felt there was some unfinished business at Oxford and I wanted to help the club achieve promotion.  

4) What is your most memorable footballing memory and achievement during your whole career?
Scoring on my debut will always remain special but scoring at Wembley and leading the team up the steps to lift the trophy takes some beating. The relationship I had with the fans at Torquay was something which I shall never forget.

5) Your worst memory/experience?
Standing on any pitch after any relegation is a dark day but having to retire has easily been the worst part of my career. I still find it tough now.

6) You've just released a book called 'Wheres your caravan' - What is the logic behind the title and what is the book?
I decided to call it that as a bit of a laugh really. As I have been at so many clubs and have such long hair, I think the title worked! My locks have now been chopped though!

7) If you weren't a footballer, what other career choice would you have liked to have done and why?
I always find it hard to answer this question as I had nothing else in mind other than making it as a footballer but I would have liked to give tennis or motocross a go had football not been an option.

8) What are your plans for the immediate future?
I have a sports shop in Sidmouth called Chris Hargreaves Sports Republic which has gone really well. The support I have had has been brilliant and I am so thankful for that. It would be fantastic to be able to open another one somewhere else (hopefully Torquay!!)

9) What are your plans for the long term future?
I really enjoy doing a a few bits for TV and radio and you never know what may crop up there. Writing is obviously a passion so I hope that continues, and fingers crossed a football job is around the corner.

10) Finally, name 5 people you would least like to have round for a dinner part
Bin Laden, Gaddafi, Jedward, the referee who wrongly awarded a free tick to Mansfield in the play-off semi final that cost us the game and the chance of promotion (not that I'm bitter!) and probably Jeremy Kyle for being such a weasel.

You can get your copy of Chris's book 'Wheres your caravan' from Amazon for a smashing price of £5.29 -

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