The former Liverpool striker talks eggs, pies and fights with FourFourTwo in December 2006...
John, thanks for sparing us the time. Let’s get the shameless plug over with first…
Aren’t you here to plug something? That’s normally how it works
No, not that I know of. The PFA got in touch with us and said you wanted to do an interview, that you had a few questions for us, so…
A few questions it is then. What’s your favourite kind of egg?
Me favourite egg? Erm, a fried egg. Burnt round the edges, but with a soft yolk.
And the greatest pie filling known to man?
What’s a scouse pie?
It’s like an Irish stew pie, y’know, with meat and potatoes in it. It’s a great pie, particularly with a good dollop of brown sauce.
Would you rather fight a kangaroo who was wearing huge boxing gloves, or a grandmother wielding a baseball bat?
(Thinking hard)… The kangaroo, got to be the kangaroo. I couldn’t hit a granny, could I?
Well it’s self-defence. She’s coming at you and there’s a rusty nail in the end of the bat…
No, no, I’d still go for the kangaroo.
How would you beat it?
I’d kick it in the fookin’ bollocks (laughs heartily). That should do the trick.
You sound like you’d relish that fight…
… (now seriously pondering the prospect) Yeah. If you set it up, for charity of course, I’d be up for that, definitely.
Kangaroos aside, what makes you angry?
Ignorant people. I’m not naming names here, but ignorant, arrogant bastards really get on me tits.
When was the last time you got so angry that steam billowed out of both ears?
(Trying to narrow it down) … Ooh… Dear me…Probably when I missed a fookin’ birdie putt the other day. I ended up throwing me club in disgust.
And when was the last time you called someone a “Fookin’ cheat”? It can’t have been 1994…
No, it was only last week when I was commentating on the Chelsea-Liverpool game. I called it Drogba, but it could have been any of the fookin’ Chelsea lot in all honesty.
Live on air?
Oh aye, yeah.
What’s your poison, and how much can you drink before you fall over?
Probably Tetley Smoothflow. That’s a great drop, that. If I had to choose one drink over all others, I’d go for that. How much before I fell over? About 15 pints.
Peter Reid said he drank vodka and mouthwash when he ran out of mixer. Can you top that?
Fookin’ hell!? I’m not a shorts man, don’t go anywhere near shots or anything like that, I just can’t handle it at the time or the hangover the next day. I once had pints of vodka and Red Bull in Magaluf with the Tranmere lads. We started at three in the afternoon and were still on it at five in the morning.
Textbook professionals to a man!
Yeah (laughs). I ended up with a terrible fookin’ headache and wanted to go to sleep, but the Red Bull wouldn’t let me drop off for fookin’ hours. It was horrible, awful. Never again.
Would you rather have giant hands or a tail?
How big are the hands?
At least 10 times the size of normal hands. Or a small, twirly goat’s tail…
Well you know what they say about big hands… big cock (laughs). I’ll go for the hands.
Isn’t it big feet = big reproductive organ?
Is it? No, it’s big hands.
Let’s move swiftly on. Ever considered growing a big, slightly camp bandido moustache?
(Laughs) Yeah, I did actually have one when I was younger, the ‘tache with the bits down the side. I think I had it for about three or four weeks but then shaved it off. I realised there were more than enough bandits in Liverpool without me fookin’ lookin’ like one (chuckles).
Ever drunk booze from a shoe?
No, not that I can remember. Although I wouldn’t remember, would I? You’d have to be pissed as a fookin’ fart to do that, wouldn’t ya, so you’d have no hope of remembering. Maybe I have, then…
And finally, could you drown a bag of unwanted kittens in a bag for money?
No, no, no. Definitely not.
There’s £150 in it for you…
No, not a chance. I love animals.
£500,000? And they’re unwanted. No one will miss them
No, I still couldn’t do it. Who would do that kind of thing for money? Fookin’ hell.
How refreshing to finally find a footballer with a conscience, John. How about £750,000 in untraceable notes?
£750,000?... Make it a million and the deal’s done. It would have to be a million (chuckles, only now it sounds more menacing).
Pleasure doing business with you, John
And you. Take care.
Interview by Nick Harper, from the December 2006 issue.