Craig Burley: Ask A Silly Question

Former Chelsea, Celtic and Derby man – and the last Scottish player to score in a World Cup – Craig Burley answers FourFourTwo's silly questions in January 2011.

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Hi Craig. If you were going to get executed, what method would you choose?
F*ck, what a question. I guess I'd go for lethal injection. I couldn't be doing with getting electrocuted or hanged. I've had loads of injections over the years. I'm a human pin cushion, although I hate needles. At school we had a TB injection and I fainted. Some lad told me the needle was six inches long – I was terrified.

Embarrassing scenes...
Not good at age 12. When I came round I asked when I was having the jab, and they said I'd already had it. I was mortified. I had some more injections at ITV last summer to go to South Africa, and I must admit I felt queasy. I was lucky I didn't pass out in front of Jim Rosenthal.

You wouldn't like to awaken with Jim in your grid?
I wouldn't fancy the kiss of life from Rosenthal, that's for sure. I've roomed with him in the past. There must be better options.

True. If you were alone on a desert island and were offered the chance to clone yourself for company, would you do it?
God, no. I'm a miserable, grumpy Jock. I wouldn't be able to stand myself. Plus the other Burley would probably drink any booze I got hold of. One Burley is enough.

Fair enough. Now, the other night in my local, two heavy metal bands were playing: one called Rise of the Simians, the other called Day of the Locusts. Which of these two horrific scenarios would be worse?
Definitely Day of the Locusts. I don't mind monkeys, but I hate creepy crawlies. I have to dispatch my kids to kill them – they freak me out. I'll swat a wasp, but I hate those big weird things that get into your house at certain times of year.

You're famous for your missing front teeth. How did you lose them? Fighting a sailor?
I do tell tales about this, but the truth is embarrassing: I knocked them out myself when I was 17. I was trying to kick a ball at chest height and at the last minute I decided to head it. Somehow I kneed myself in the face. It was horrendous. I was in digs at the time, and when I got home my landlady had made ham rolls. The sight of me trying to eat them must have been horrible. It was Christmas, too.

So all you wanted for Christmas was your two front teeth?
Yeah. I couldn't speak or eat properly for weeks. I got some dentures in the end. I used to have fun with them. I once put them in Jackie McNamara's red wine at TGI Friday's, Glasgow. He got such a shock he threw them across the restaurant and I spent an hour looking for them.

Do you enjoy hurly-burly, Burley?
I like a bit of hurly-burly, but also peace and quiet, too. I'm not really one for central London, because you can't f*cking move. I live out in suburbia these days but I'm a bit bored of the sticks, especially when you're paying £40 for a taxi home.

Have you ever enjoyed the serenity of a barge holiday?
No, but I've got into diving. Scuba diving, not muff diving, that is. It's very peaceful being underwater out in Egypt and looking at the different fish. I've seen stingrays out there – like the one that killed Steve Irwin.

Risky. Finally, how would you have reacted if Craig Brown had unveiled a new Scotland kit made of tin foil?
Er... I don't think that would have worked too well. Although I was carrying a bit of spare timber during some of my career, so maybe it would have shifted that.

No doubt. Cheers for chatting, Craig!

Interview: Nick Moore. From the January 2011 issue of FourFourTwo. Subscribe�!