Freddie Sears: Talentspotter

Former West Ham forward and cheeky chappie Freddie Sears talks to FourFourTwo back in October 2008 about Jessica Alba, taxi drivers and how he "ain't made it yet"...

We are part of The Trust Project What is it?

Searsey. It's not very original but it's the only one that's stuck. [FourFourTwo recommends something more original like Kruger, as in Freddy Kruger] That's not a bad shout!

Team supported
West Ham. I've been West Ham all my life. They're my nearest professional club and I used to go over there every week. So to then go on to play for them and score a goal on my first-team debut was unbelievable. In fact, just being on the pitch was an incredible experience as I've been going to Upton Park for so long.

My finishing and awareness are my best assets. They're not bad attributes for a striker to have.

My heading is weak so it was odd to get my first ever goal with it. I also need to work on my left foot.

Paolo di Canio was my hero when I was a kid. He was so exciting to watch and always had the Upton Park faithful off their seats – one way or another! I also have a lot of time for Jermain Defoe. We're similar players, I think, and I'd love to be able to achieve what he has.

It's got to be scoring on my Premier League debut, ain't it? Deano [Dean Ashton] had the ball, I've kept running off Blackburn's Morten Gamst Pedersen, he's flicked it back, I've had a shot, it's hit Brad Friedel and I've followed it up and headed it in. I was so happy to just get on but to score... I celebrated like a madman. I gave it the Hammers sign, didn't I? I can still see it now as the ball dropped, and not being confident with my head I thought I was going to miss. When it went in, the noise... unbelievable.

Toughest opponent
Rio Ferdinand. I played at Old Trafford and he was hard to play against. He was also in my ear the whole time, telling me not to bother, telling me to be a good boy and all that. I found it funny. One day I'll be giving it to a young player, won't I?

Biggest influence
My dad's been amazing. From an early age he has been right behind me, encouraging me and supporting my football. He's a massive West Ham fan too so he's loving it.

R 'n' B and funky house are my favourites.

I've got an Audi TT at the moment.

Jessica Alba [FourFourTwo tells Freddie she's banned but he's insistent]. She's just nice.

I get more into TV series than films these days as we can watch box sets, one episode after another. I've got right into Entourage recently. That's well good.

Tell us something we don't know about you...
My actual name is Frederick, although that might be obvious. My dad is a black cabbie.

If you hadn't been a footballer...
Maybe I'd be a PE teacher, but I'd probably be a taxi driver like my old man.

Best advice given
Keep your feet on the ground. I made a big impact by scoring on my debut but I've been told not to ruin it by getting too big for my boots, which is very true. I'm only 18. I ain't made it yet.

Most embarrassing moment
At West Ham, like at a lot of clubs, new players have to sing a song in front of the who first-team squad. I got up to sing [famous West Ham anthem] I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles. That was bad. I had to stand on my chair, the whole hotel staff was called in as well, and I had to sing. I can't sing. At least I knew the words but still, that was a bad moment.

School report
It was good at PE but otherwise, it wasn't too good. It was all about football, every day – football.

In five years' time...
I'll hopefully be in the West Ham first team and hopefully pushing on with England too. I've already got under-19 caps.

Interview: Leo Moynihan. From the October 2008 issue of FourFourTwo.