Danny Graham: Talentspotter

Speaking back in 2005, then-Middlesbrough starlet Graham talks Shearer, Corrie and 'wild child' Tara Reid.

We are part of The Trust Project What is it?

Nothing exciting, I’m afraid. Everybody just calls me Danny. Boring, I know.

As a boy I supported…
Newcastle United. I was born in Gateshead, so it’s no surprise really.

Being a centre-forward, my priority is to score goals and I’d say I’m not bad at it.

Every young player has weaknesses and I’m no different, but you just have to turn them into strengths by working on them. Things like holding the ball up and bringing other people into play are the areas I particularly need to work on at the moment.

As a Newcastle fan, I used to watch Alan Shearer when I was young a boy, so it would have to be him, especially as he’s a fellow Geordie.

I play a bit like…
Alan Shearer again. I try to base my game around his because he’s the ultimate centre-forward.

Making your debut against Manchester United at Old Trafford isn’t a bad way to kick-off your Premiership career – and we got a draw. But I’d have to say my first Premiership goal against Charlton Athletic at the Riverside Stadium was even better.

The injury I suffered at the end of last season. I had a stress fracture of my leg which kept me out for 12 weeks – that was pretty bad.

Toughest opponent
Rio Ferdinand is a top quality defender and so difficult to play against – especially on your debut! I did OK, though.

Best player you’ve played alongside
Our skipper Gareth Southgate. He’s class.

Best mate in football
There are a lot of young lads at Middlesbrough who came through the ranks at the same time – people like Stewart Downing, James Morrison and Tony McMahon – and we all get on really well together.

Biggest practical joker
The notorious Steve Harrison, our first team coach.

What advice would you give to an aspiring young footballer?
I was always told never give in and do whatever it takes to be the best player you can possibly be.

Who would you most like to be stuck in a lift with?
I’d definitely have to go for a female... I think I’ll plump for Cheryl Tweedy from Girls Aloud – she’s a fellow Geordie too.

If you could have one superpower what would it be?
To be the best footballer in the world. Although I suppose that’s not really a superpower is it?

I’m well into the Usher album at the moment. There aren’t many of his songs that I don’t like.

A Range Rover Sport, because that’s what I’m driving and I’m very happy with it.

Apart from Cheryl Tweedy, I also like Tara Reid from American Pie. It helps that she looks like a real wild child.

It wasn’t exactly a blockbuster – you might not have even heard of it – but I really enjoyed a film called Purely Belter. It’s about two young lads who worship Alan Shearer and it’s set in Newcastle – what could possibly be better than that?

Favourite TV programmes
I hate to admit it but I really like Coronation Street. That’s probably my favourite!

I spend my money on…
A few things, but clothes mostly.

If I wasn’t a footballer…
I honestly couldn’t tell you what I’d be doing. I haven’t got a clue.

Describe yourself in five words…
Positive, energetic, intelligent, loyal and hard-working.

In five years time…
I would hope to still be involved in the game – at as a high a level as possible. Anything else is a bonus.

Interview: James Gallagher. From December 2005 issue of FourFourTwo.